night might clap thunder through the screen doors,
rainfall a quiet crawl from the open blinds
my tío breaks laughter loud across a vodka cranberry
my father’s hand wrapped about a vodka soda,
my mother and her red wine
myself and a whiskey coke
and no storm could match our roar
my all-teeth family—a hurricane in the forest.
a moth hugs the window
flickering anxiously back and forth
and we mourn—
our ghosts rising from our mouths
like smoke we never let in
each body like an omen
my open-casket family—the wake we drown in.
tear-stained hands grow chapped through the hours
stories told through time about
a bullet and a cane
a helicopter light and hog-tie
a sister thrown from a car
whiskey for breakfast
adam’s apple in hand
tattoos ashed away
my white-knuckle family—lightbulb crushed in the mouth.
Sloan Asakura is a poet and memoirist originally from Los Angeles. Their work has been previously published in Jeopardy Magazine, Rigorous, The Mantle, Rogue Agent, and O:JA&L. They are forthcoming in Zone 3. In their free time, they can be found tending to their plants, watching sunrises, and talking to birds.
• Photo by Milana Litovchenko (@milanasphotography)