Christmas

by Joanne Rosenthal


The closer I get to home,
the tighter the world’s fist
squeezes my throat.

Will today be the day?

It’s the type of Crayola-colored spring afternoon
you fantasize about
when February has sunk its icy fangs into you.
The sun shines Laser Lemon;
the tulips threaten to bleed Tickle Me Pink
onto your fingertips
when you stroke their soft petals.

I think today will be the day
because today is beautiful,
and God loves that kind of irony.

Today I’ll turn the front doorknob
and call out hi to my mom,
knowing that she won’t answer.
I’ll find her lying atop
the Screamin’ Green bathroom tiles
streaked with her Jazzberry Jam blood,

and the color combo will remind me
of Christmas wrapping paper.

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