Teachers, Dad, and TV tell me not to cry. Crying solves nothing.
I smile through Mom disappearing. Smirk through apartments with puke green Michelina’s TV dinners, ripped Diet-Pepsi bottles, Dad’s blood-red Budweisers.
And I even smile and make excuses for Dad. He’s just lapsed. Truth: He’s been consumed by pills and booze for years.
I make jokes about corpses and stiffness when Dad overdoses.
But they clear things. Out goes that ripped couch that smells of warm Marlboros.
The portable TV that once made Dad, Mom, and me laugh.
The plastic coffee table. Gone.
But tears are full.
© Yash Seyedbagheri 2020
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program. His stories, ”Soon,” “How to Be a Good Episcopalian,” and ”Tales from a Communion Line,” were nominated for Pushcarts. Yash’s work has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine, and Ariel Chart, among others.