ON READING LINDA GREGG ONE NIGHT IN EARLY APRIL
The evidence of the heart is a plain language.
For instance: I am twelve years old.
My father enters my bedroom
holding a board in his hand and begins
to beat me with it.
I pull the blanket to my chin,
my legs scrambling beneath me as I try
to grip the sheets with my feet
though it is like trying to grip water.
When he leaves I get up, look at my face
in the bathroom mirror, no longer recognize
who I see, understand why I am here.
No sound comes out of me.
Years later I am told that before my father
died he cried almost every day, grew thin
in bed, lamp by his side, covers drawn
to his chin. That when he tried to speak
no sound came out of him.
I am lying in bed reading Linda Gregg.
Gregg suggests there is truth in absence.
Like the old women of Greece who understand
their lives. That when you cry
it is not for sadness. It is for love.
Ten years. Where did he come from?
There are more hours in a day
I remember him than not,
the opening of my door, hand swinging,
a bulb at the end of a chain.
Door, bed, window: window, bed, door.
Dark split, light
sprung over the walls.
Mitchell Untch is an emerging writer. Recent publications include Tampa Review, Saranac, Chattahoochee Review, Tule Review, Common Ground, and others.