Hoping for a mist of cotton candy
and marshmallow fluff
to politely foam
from her fragile, supple lips.
Instead a rancid bile spews
like a thousand raging demons
who’ve just been ordered by Lucifer himself
to tend to Jesus’s bunny rabbits.
We clap our hands to our ears –
not big enough…not thick enough –
and mouth words she cannot possibly hear
over her self-created apocalypse.
We squint, wince in pain, and look at each other in horror
as blood begins to force itself from our pores –
it too cannot fathom this eruption,
has never heard a sound so grating.
Our blood, like our wills, wants to leave our bodies
and force itself into our little girl’s mouth
so as to affect some…any
type of resolution.
And just as quickly as this possessed concerto began,
it ends – the tiny instrument of pain
now trying its damnedest
to ingest the child’s hand, thumb first.
Our daughter’s other hand then points to across the room
as steady and sure as your junior-high
Algebra teacher pointed you to the principal’s office
for playing suckyface with Joe Camel before class.
She points, without wavering, eyes locked,
brow slightly furrowed, daring you not to look
(though you know you will, you must
if you want to avoid auditory assassination).
So you turn, and you see, up on a shelf
a fluffy, white teddy bear with a red ribbon around its neck,
holding a heart in its paws and then you turn
back to your daughter who now smiles and nods.