B is for blind, for dad’s pale blue eyes shaking uncontrollably, for his long, narrow fingers brushing over braille letters. “See? Two dots for B, close together.” B is for his fingernails embedded with dirt and oil, for the smell of gasoline and antifreeze braided with Old Spice and horse manure. B is for the patch of car grease in the fold of his chin where a beard might have been, for the electric razor he used leaning over the bathroom sink, his eyes bouncing toward the light he couldn’t see, his fingers brushing over whiskers like braille dots. B is for drop of blood where the dull blade nicks his pale skin, for how the blood swells, for “Baby girl, can you get your dad a Band-Aid? How about a big hug for your dad?” B is for nights before, his body on mine, for begging him to stop, for him laughing, “But I just want to show you I love you.” B is for backing away too fast in the bathroom when his hands reach for me, for bumping into the sink, for blades spilling at his bare feet, for me bending low and quick, for pushing the blades in a pile, for my blood spotting the tile like his. B is for his shout echoing in the small room, “I can’t believe you! You are bad, young lady, come here.” B is for his palm slapping my back, the backs of my legs, for the bruises I thought made me beautiful.

Copyright © 1999 – 2024 Juked