I stared at the stain on the wall, safe in my anonymity.
I in my usual seat, the lucky one.
My brothers having nowhere to look, no place to hide their fear
clinging to invisibility like cockroaches on fine china
staring down at their laps.
Always risky…either invisible or not paying attention.
No way to know,
no way to tell if the boys would pass for decorations
or be crushed underfoot
But safer than looking at Father–and maybe catching the attention of those brown eyes.
brown as a roach’s back. Brown as the stain.
Me? I already knew those eyes.
I stared at the stain.
It was a growing thing, a life, an entity, the expanding offspring of an unchaste
and spermless conception,
a sixth member of the family,
living on the dining room wall.
The size of my head at birth–
except where a gravy umbilical dripped towards the…
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