Handbroom Handshake

Insults about fathers
are passed around tables
like pink cigarettes
cold coffee in chipped mugs
essays about mothers
are shadows
lurking beyond the wallpaper
tucking hair behind ears
handbroom handshake
hand-me-down heartbreak
and something else
is swept under the rug

The blue rug
is shedding all over my clothes
and straining to cover
the things shoved under it

I keep circling
knowing where to pick up my knees
so that nothing forces me to remember
nothing halts my swirl
Mr. Hyde stride in 5-inch heels
getting yellow wallpaper all over my right hip
stopping only for a queasy dance
a pink cigarette
a cold cup of coffee
someone to tell me that they hear the shadows too
(hear them in the bottoms of chipped mugs)
(hear them in the stories that nobody tells at tupperware parties)

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