D.M. Macormic

The Marriage Thief Comes For Breakfast

My mother cut a bouquet
of chrysanthemums in the rain
and placed them in a vase
on the kitchen table—boasting

their shades of blue. It was that morning
my father announced he liked
men, or was it boys? Or did he say
I no longer love your mother? I didn’t

understand then. The shy way my mother
fingered the lip of the table, my father
plucking tobacco from his tongue before
lighting a cigarette—each of them waited

expecting. Oh finds a way of catching
in the throat when we fear the ceiling
won’t hold the rain any longer. It was

all God before then—homily and hymn.
In the kitchen, the linoleum wheezed
under my mother’s feet as she paced.
The words she searched for were

prayer and healing but they came out
your father’s a faggot. Her eyes as cold blue
as the mums on the table—that impossible
color filling the space between the two of us.

D.M. Macormic was raised in St. Louis, Missouri but now lives and works in Stillwater, Oklahoma where he is finishing a PhD in English at Oklahoma State University. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Mid-American Review, and many others.