July 27, 2017
This morning, my father sent me a photograph
of two people burning to death in their cars—
twinned fires blazing the dawn
as rain slicked the highway beneath his feet.
Nice way to start the day, he captioned it.
I’ll never wash it out of my head.
I have not seen what he has seen; I have not lived
behind his eyes, scalpeled myself into his mind,
so the most I can do is watch him
clutch his gun, guzzle his whiskey, his eyes glassed
with booze and tears—watch him the same way
he watched those two burn to death:
resigned to the chaos, breathing in the smoke.
J. Hugo lives alone in southern Illinois and doesn’t consider herself much of a poet. The granddaughter of a mortician, she merely enjoys writing about her strange family.