Dad is throwing a party; he can’t stay.
Dad is putting on his winter coat.
Mom is showering because the water’s hot.
Dad says, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Dad is putting on his winter hat.
Dad will tap the back of brother’s hand before he goes.
Brother is here with his eyes closed.
Brother’s eyes are paralyzed.
Brother’s eyes won’t move even if he dreams.
Dad is making a crown roast for the party.
Brother’s breathing has gone mechanical.
Dad has a secret recipe.
Mom is standing in the shower because the water’s hot.
Nurse is flushing the lines in the back of brother’s left hand.
God has reached his two hands into brother’s two lungs and stolen all the air.
Nurse is flushing the lines in the back of brother’s right hand.
Brother’s two lungs are two empty escape pods.
Nurse is delivering the nighttime paralytic.
Nurse adjusts brother’s right leg.
Sister adjusts brother’s left leg.
God is a dirty thief.
Nurse feels for fever in the old-fashioned way, by touching the forehead.
“Children’s Story” is from The Curiosities (Parlor Press, 2012).