Monday night, I sprain my ankle
playing ball. And I keep playing.
At my place, my foot swells brown
around the heel, black in the toes.

Mom calls. Her voice is afraid.
It’s Jane again. She hasn’t come home
in days. Last time, they found her
emptied car before picking her up.

At three a.m., I wake up, take a piss,
feel blood stutter down my leg
through the lumped bruises. Back in bed,
my foot throbs like a dying fish.

The log of my body writhes over
a dull fire spreading nervously.
I curse until it eases, enough
to sleep.
                    I dream of my father
and his knife collection. Each one
with a smooth handle—whale bone
or steel, bearing alien monograms.
He sits on a squeaky, wooden chair,
chews Red Man, hones a warm blade.
He spits and says, keep this here fine,
and you won’t even feel it go through

Jesse Breite