The drone of the engine, the darkness outside
Punctuated by a universe of random lights
Something jazzy straining through the radio static
Conversations between my parents, half-heard:
Groceries to buy, bedding, getting the kids settled, naptha
I had memories of the beach in the morning: there would be
Sand and sun and other kids and swimming and hotdogs and marshmallows
— too much joy to contain . . .
The pillows and blankets they packed with us
Are a suffocating nest for my sister and me: we hate
Our familiarity, hate knowing too much about each other
We have been simmering all day, can’t wait to separate
To play together next morning on the beach,
Skipping gleefully through the shimmering shallow water.
I am playing a solo game, watching the light patterns
On the virgin mouse fur ceiling stride forward as cars,
Paradoxically, slip backward. The music on the radio changes.
My father’s smoke drifts back, sweetly.