Christmas in Hell
It's the 70's. My socks have holes and my toes
fascinate me. Christmas lights blink: the room
shimmers with red light from the fireplace.
Our tree has shed all over the indoor-outdoor
carpet. I must be careful not to eat tinsel. I
run hard in circles until I slip and fall, bite my
tongue. Everything tastes like blood from
then on. I eat more chocolate santas.
My pajamas are blue and dirty and too small.
I have shook all the presents twice. I arrange
the packages in order of size, then stack them
into a city. I try to push my brother into the
fire. He resists so I smack his face. My brother
climbs up the tree. Bulbs pop and spark. The
tree leans to one side, is propped up by a wall.
Ants have gotten into the plate of cookies left
for santa. I eat them anyways. My brother
howls until I push one through his branches.
The milk has spoilt, curdled solid. I finger
it onto each cheek -- war paint. I find the dog
under the table. He has left me a present too.
I haul him out by his tail. He snaps wearily
then goes limp. I push the dog in the fire.
He does not resist. The presents are next.
Flames and gold foil are pretty. The smell
starts in bright puffs, plastic and sharp.
I start to gallop in circles again,
faster, faster, thinking,
oh my god, why did I ever have children?