79 Haven Avenue
8A has a bad habit of making love to a prostitute
every Tuesday at 2:10 pm.
She says, “You smell like money,”
and collects his crumpled bills.
In 10B, a slice of white bread slathered in mayonnaise
sits on the stove, with a bite taken out the side.
The kitchen counters are sticky with popsicle juice.
No cabinet door is exactly straight,
the lights always flicker,
alphabet letters threaten to fall off the fridge.
My brother has a habit of biting
his nails and stealing things (he’ll end up like 8A).
My mother keeps her wig on straight
and has lipstick on her teeth.
She asks for eggs from the grocery store
but doesn’t cook them.
My sister’s a hole in the wall.
She watches Jungle Book every Saturday
morning and cries
at the thought of civilization.
Jesus hangs above the TV, upset
that he’s a celebrity in our home.
That’s the real grief.
It’s an okay thing how people stay whole, even when they shouldn’t.