French Fries and Eggs

by Geoff Munsterman

Sun-white plate white as cataracts
reflect my father, skin slick red.
Verging on cancer, he holds an egg,
fist clenched as if his carpenter’s hands
lie to him, the shell some fat nail.

Potato planks rise like bloated bodies
my brother mines from the Missisippi.
French fries and eggs: a meal I liked—
a meal my father made when mom
was on the road. How do you identify
a purple-and-silver-skinned torso
bobbing along the river like a cork?

Practice. One time he lucked out.
Found a pair of legs with the soggy
wallet still inside the pocket. The liquid
white runs, yellow intact. All I can
think to do is bite my mother’s wrist
so hard I tattoo her with my teeth.
Ruin her skin, in case night decides
to swallow her like the black river.

On the chopping block, wet knives
sing stain and halogen. Over the levee,
a barge drifts into the moment,
blows siren, drifts out. Grease pop
yellows an already yellow stovetop.
Evening dribbles into another hour.