#2

Owen Davey

Ice Cubes by Linda Leavitt

It is after midnight when she crashes into my room

her small body awakened in rage;

muscles, knotted tight,

drive her forward to my bed

not to cuddle

but to seethe against me

anger for the most benign imaginings

incites her to tears

you don’t let me sleep enough!

your computer screen is too bright!

you never buy me what I want!

kicking, crying,

she drags me

into her abyss

where her childish fears

bring forth my own tears;

she pulls the covers over

my head, screaming

grown-ups do NOT cry!

talk then, Athena

talk, I say

tell me why you’re really angry

no more crap – tell me the truth.

my life is terrible she cries

my family is split, my life stinks!

I have no answers

no solutions

my sheltering arms, rejected,

are no longer enough.

2.

Twenty years ago I had a roommate

an ethereal woman

with an understated intellect

and ideas I then laughed at;

I think of her now

and how she handled anger

3.

Do you want to throw

ice cubes in the bathtub? I ask

This startles Athena,

stops her crying;

why? she asks guardedly

what good will that do?

You’ll see…

I smile and lead her to the kitchen,

open the freezer door,

hand her the ice tray.

She follows me to the bathroom

Together we dig our nails

into spaces between plastic

and ice

grab the slippery cubes and

with arms raised high

send them crashing one by one,

shattering against porcelain steel;

the thundering racket resounds, satisfying

a harmless catharsis

rage vented

no one hurt;

damage not erased

but temporarily bandaged

then, with icy hands held forth

she falls against my chest

allowing me, finally, to hold her

in the sheltering embrace

she used to welcome.

More art by Owen Davey here.

Recommended listening: Coming Home by Leon Bridges

Links of the day: If Mahatma Gandhi Had an Instagram Account

The Photo Man by Ben Kitnick

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