written in reflection

i was there, under fluorescent bathroom light, with the yellow tile and the basin sink. your roommates teal toothbrush laying on the counter, i bet that bothers you. when the chain on the toilet tank broke i reached my hand in and fixed it, hoping you’d notice. you need a new shower curtain, and the tile is chipped next to the sink, like the sink is new but the tile is old and someone forced it to fit. i notice the blue flowers painted on the white strip cutting horizontally through the yellow walls. it reminds me of a baby born in the 1960s, and i think of your father, a baby in that house. and you live there now, consecrated by the cigarette butts in the planters on the front porch and the four men sitting on your couch in the living room, sharing that bathroom with yellow tiled walls. they drink pbr and play foosball, and parts of it feel very 1980. the haircuts, and names, and hand written reminders on the fridge. the clothes and the music. it echoes through the living room, the nostalgia of your father’s childhood. the living room feels so large. the furniture from previous starter homes can’t fill the space. the little homes in central city, closer to the noise of downtown and your college campus. you traded it in for the bigger rooms, and your older friends. you rely on the real estate profile of a house with the mortgage paid off, and when the dementia takes your grandmother she’ll formally hand it down to your father. will you get it too? will you take this home in this suburban neighborhood? the kind without sidewalks or midnight traffic. will the men move out, leaving you and your student debt, and a wife who will fill their rooms with babies? will you bath them in the basin sink? will you stay nuclear while i stay atomic? 

atomic family
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