Monday, November 19, 2012

Angel Zapata


She thinks I’ve taken up smoking.
All around the house, she empties
ashtrays from exotic locales:
Hawaii, Tahiti, St. Croix.
The kitchen trash can has become
an island of volcanic ash.
She’s unaware, no cigarettes
ever taint these lips, scar these lungs.
The crushed butts are misdirection.
I watch her dust the worn mantel,
raise the gray shape of father’s urn.
She never suffered his abuse,
prayed he’d be stricken with cancer;
pushed the pillow over his face.
I wonder if she feels it change,
a steady loss of weight each week?
Dr. Rowe said I’d learn to let
dad go a little at a time.
My housekeeper knots the trash bag,
carries more of him out the door.

Deshant Paul reads "Housekeeper":

Subscribe to Channel Five-Two for first view of new videos.

Angel confesses: "I saw this photograph of a cremation urn. Looked just like a gold trophy. It reminded me of killers taking ‘trophies’ from crime scenes, keepsakes to relive the memory. I thought if a killer ever sought out professional therapy, how would he interpret ‘letting go of the past’?"

ANGEL ZAPATA grew up in New York City, but now lives in Georgia. He's married and has four sons. Some of his fiction and poetry can be found at Nailpolish Stories, Durable Goods, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Devilfish Review, Bewildering Stories, Right Hand Pointing, and Microw. Visit him at

1 comment:

EC said...

Tasty darkness, that one. You are quite talented at penning the heart of suffering in such wicked and delightful ways. Poetry you can chew on.
Excellent stuff, Angel. (I think 9 out of 10 therapists would agree.)