I grab hold of my dad's iron fist and twist. I'm locked in. Shit. I'm knock-kneed. I'm Alaska in the corpse of Kafka. I shrink into my six months of night, a starving sun. My frustration, a bomb. I wriggle his hairy knuckles again. Shit. I'm locked in. I was supposed to perform a solo. I'm important, I say. When I play, people listen, I say, as my feelings tinkle at his deaf feet. I mean, at his door. I mean, he is a door. My dad is imitating a door. He always is. It is the only thing he is intimate with: imitating doors. I bet if you saw him in a showroom full of doors, you'd be fooled. He stands so still, so wooden, so upright. You'd probably buy him. You'd probably think you never had to buy a door again. You'd see his sturdiness, his heavy watchface acting as a deadbolt, and you'd think, Never again. But you'd be wrong. Not unless you like being locked in. Not unless you have Stockholm Syndrome. Because, even though my dad is so intimate with imitating doors, he never learned to initiate. He never learned to open, not even a hairline crack. His weatherstripping is immaculate. He is caulked and reinforced to withstand dropkick after dropkick. He can not be budged. Not whatsoever. He can stand erect forever. He is fucking amazing at staying closed. His words are gems, and not in the good way. Unspoken, they've compressed under his high blood pressure. Once he stayed wordless so long he coughed up a diamond. When I looked at it under a jeweler's loupe it merely said, "Uh-huh." Is that even a fucking a word? It's a grunt! My dad can stay closed forever and grunt with the best of them. He can make your dying breath seem like eternity, while locked in, not saying a word to each other, as you hold his iron fist, hoping he remembers how to imitate being a human being, before all his doors close and oxygen runs out, before all the stars come out, take a bow and disappear in our homemade darkness.


RON GIBSON, Jr. has previously appeared in Moonglasses Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, apt, (b)oink, Stockholm

Review of Literature, Cheap Pop, New South Journal, Jellyfish Review, Whiskeypaper, Noble / Gas Quarterly, etc...

forthcoming at Gone Lawn, Unbroken Journal & Crack the Spine @sirabsurd