April 1, 2017 orangeq2017

Bastard Son of Simon

Kristin Fitzsimmons


“Well at least you’re a lucky sonofabitch. Blacks and spics get wasted but you micks make it every damn time.”

—Tim O’Brien, If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home


So we were the lucky ones
paleness in the blood
sugar in our cabinets.

Mom was a scientist for Monsanto, she
worked with potatoes, that old Irish tuber, that new
American freak.

She made mustard seeds glow in the dark but
Dad wouldn’t tell her what he’d seen in Nam—he’d seen
his luck in his eyes a flashbulb

then the darkroom where I make prints of no use
breathing in chemicals I don’t believe
in, using that camera he gave me
so afraid of it breaking

there’s a dark room Dad doesn’t go into
there’s a darkroom where I protect the most fragile
photo paper

there’s a dark room where I make the prints
of things we’ve seen before

like Mold-o-Rama machines and I had one
of the Chicago Culture Center’s ceiling

god, I felt so


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