Because I Am Furniture

I am always there.
But they don't care if I am
because I am furniture.

I don't get hit
I don't get fondled
I don't get love
because I am furniture

Suits me fine.

If all this tree is from mom and all this tree is from him
where do I grow my own branches?

If I could just open my mouth wide enough
to allow those gagging blobs of truth
their slow, tar-seep passage
up through my gullet,
with barely enough oxygen to keep from
passing out
while they glorp over my tongue,
those truths would reach my teeth,
where if my jaw weren't unhinged,
I might bite them off
so I could
breathe again.

I got an A on the third quiz in American history,
an A,
dammit.
Last time I got a B
up from a C
and my father said,
"if you can get a C
you can get a B,
if you can get a B
you can get an A."-
I got an A
and my father said,
"grades don't mean anything.

I like her explanation better than just being a diminutive
of someone else.

I'm sorry, I had a meeting"

I stand behind his chair. "Liar," under my breath.

"You weren't at a meeting," take a breath, gain speed, bursting,
"You were with Angie in the office.
I saw you. I saw you. You clamp us down, you think no one knows.
You hurt my brother! My sister!
You hurt my friend! Small trusting prey, huh?
You had to squash some weak person already in pain, thinking she loved you.
You could have chosen to hurt me!
But I'm not worth enough, I never am and you picked poor Angie, you were going to RAPE her, I SAW YOU TRY TO RAPE ANGIE, you fucking MONSTER!

I'm sure you were mistaken," Yaicha says to her brush.

My ears pin back -
"MISTAKEN?
I know who Angie is, Yaicha.
I know who our father is, Yaicha.
He hurts people, he hurts you, you never do anything!" My claws scrape the wall paint.

She turns with soft rabbit eyes. "He'll kill me."

"He's already doing that!"
I am growling, grabbing her sleeve, "Every day, every day he rips you open,
chips off pieces week by week, till a few years from now you are not even a mouthful of sawdust.
A drawn-out killing.
Well, I'm tired of all of us doing nothing. He has to be stopped."

Yaicha's eyes have flinched a few times but soften again. "Nobody can stop him."

My teeth show.

"Nobody can stop him? Good.
To him I have always been
Nobody.

I never realized
till now
how hard the brain has to work
to make the body do what it asks.

Or maybe how hard the body has to work
to ignore
the brain.

I think that is supposed to be good,
that I get less
from him
but I feel

worth

less.

Not scared.

But excited in that
jiggering-on-too-much-hot-sauce
kind of way
that it's time to
step out
of my old framework,
raw and amorphous,
to become something I've never thought of before.

Or maybe I am just
outside enough,
being the footstool observing from the corner,
that I have a view of reality.

People are most honest
when they don't know you are listening.

The foam cushions
on the old couch downstairs
disintegrate
daily
in a hush,
like each of us,

small flecks of
hardening puffs
raining mute to the floor
when I flop down to study.

And the more the couch gets used,
the less foam it keeps--

someday
just an uncomfortable frame,
springs and other inner workings
exposed.

Silent.

Then
why don't I tell on him?

If they don't,
why don't I?

Because.

Because I am safe this way,
silent
unnoticed.

Why am I not good enough?

At least he loves
Darren and Yaicha
in some way

even if it's horrible,
he shows them attention

and I am furniture
I get nothing
nothing
nothing
no thing

With all the
dizzy galaxies
hot gases
dust at the speed of light
neutrinos running through
everything,

no matter how powerful someone is
here on Earth
they are just as small as me
to the vast greatness of
outer
space.

Yaicha and Darren
told me that I was
the mailman's child,

and I got so angry,
stalking away,
hot steam in my ribs.

Yaicha and Darren
told me that I was
the mailman's child

and now I am thinking
how wonderful it would be
to have
the mailman as
my father.

Yaicha is named after a song
by some group from the last century called the
Pousette-Dart Band.

Something about a girl,
a candle in the falling rain
shining amidst the pain.
I kind of surprise myself
when I can picture Yaicha as that candle.

My father named Yaicha after the "haunting melody."

I wonder if he ever listened
to the lyrics.

Yaicha runs.

He sits down, tired,
and says to mom,
"I'm sorry you had to see that."

Inevitable that he does it.

But he doesn't really want
a witness.

You've always
been skinny,
always will."

I can feel
each
reclusive
bone
poke through,

the bones of
Embarrassment,
Anger,
Relief.

I push some back in,
but leave
Anger
sticking out.