by Amelia K.
My dad is driving and playing my childhood soundtrack, truck music we called it, Tracy Chapman U2 The Smiths Kate Bush Cranberries Depeche Mode Talking Heads The Cure Peter (Gabriel, Murphy, Paul & Mary). I have to keep shutting my eyes against the warm sun of it. My dad and I love the same way: I have curated a playlist for my son called Homeward Bound, with 8 hours of mostly folk songs about leaving and finding home, never giving up, rivers and women with places near them. He hates it immediately, types in Alabama Shakes and closes his eyes. These days, when we look at each other, it's with the same thought: you're so much older than I remember you being. I'm always a minute too late to the punchline, the food is always cold when he gets to the table, his height changes the minute I etch it into the persimmon tree. Behind us are long, long hands capable of deep, deep marks: we need every one of these 500 miles. Do the trees we love remember us? Do the persimmons, if they still bloom, taste like his skin, bear his blood? Do their roots follow us across the Earth? When we get to the new house he will say Mom, look, and the side of his face is like a freshly bitten apple, and for a moment I am afraid to look, I am afraid that whatever it is will destroy me completely, and it does, it tells me I can have peace, and I can, and I do, and I will, I just have to look, I just have to turn away from his teeth.
Amelia K. is an award-losing bisexual writer living in Georgia. Her work has been published in Hobart, Dirt, and others. Her website is bio.site/ameliak.