“The Happy Silence”–from Difficult People

The Happy Silence



          The happy silence.

          Ricky? Are you there?

          No answer. Like walking in the dark. Skin nervous. Flash of lightning. Brightening pain. Pain.

          The lies made the pain.

          After he was cruel, then it was her turn.

          Don’t hold back. I’ve been a very bad boy.

          Yes. Yes you have.

          The strap came down across the bare flesh of truth. The truth burns. Even more hidden. Smoldering. Sudden renewal, ignition. Bright enough to read by—

          Don’t stop, he must’ve begged, many times.

          She was obliging. His lies were a cruelty. The whole family lined up for the floggings. Lead act—everything else, dinner errands, domestic rituals mere warm up acts.

          Bring on the Bad Boy—father, son and quaking spirit.

          This malformed, secretive fascist.

          This loud-mouthed grosso.

          Hatchet, pistol, whip toting slave driver—

          Strip that shirt off his back, Mama. Daddy needs his Friday night dose of medicine. Purgative of sin, of evil, of corruption.

          The blood flecked floor.

          The stench of sweat and fecal fear.

          Mama’s got some work to do. Stand back now!




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