I receive a text message,
reading that I have absolutely
nothing else to worry about.
That I should never respond,
and live my life, so they can
live theirs. That I’d never be
a good father, anyway, with
or without their say.
Facing censure as years of tears
reflect the sea, a blanket that
my parents never gave me.
Manliness absorbing into pores,
venturing home, silence weighing
heavier than a remiss heart.
Returning as a wave, the rage
of the neglected waters exuding
into a house full of shamefulness.
Delvon T. Mattingly, who also goes by D.T. Mattingly, is an emerging creative writer and a PhD student in epidemiology at the University of Michigan. His fiction has appeared in Maudlin House, Jellyfish Review, MoonPark Review, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his two cats, Liam and Tsuki. Learn more about his work at http://delvonmattingly.com/. He tweets here: @Delvonmattingly