father’s day @ Ohio Valley Dragway 

I keep turning the emperor card around
& around until it’s just a spinning tree.  

& I remember sitting in the front seat of the RV
parked nose-end against the fence of the Ohio Valley

the smell of burning nitro, a mix of berries
and burnt rubber creeps through the vents.

I am against the glass when a dragster kisses the guardrail,
flips over & carves into the earth in front of me. stops and ignites.  

& I am still against the glass of the same pit of that RV
where my stepmother’s nephew slid himself into my shorts
—the same pit where I rode for hours in silence & cigarettes.  

& I remember asking how you were. & how you turned your whole body around
to start a conversation with someone on the other side of you. & you are always 

stuck in the summer
of your adrenaline rush,
spinning the tires. 

& what am I supposed to do now? Remember
when you came to remove the lion from my house?

& how I was 3 months when you shoved
me into my mother’s arms & walked away. 

& this is how it always is———again and again
violence. silence. repeat. violene. silence. repeat.