Dishes – by Jonathan Yungkans

Dead air         on the phone
stretched.       Mom
barely said       goodbye
when     she said anything,
hung up. I       envisioned crockery’s
muffled clank,       dropped,
hopefully       just rattle, rest.
Mom       is cup and saucer—cracks lengthen
in body,       mind, deepen
past enamel       into clay. She’d
warned months ago she was chipping, as
though       Dad was keeping
one eye       on her, the other
on a broom,       a dustpan. Their
biggest fight,       she
broke a complete       dish set, pitched
fast at the brick       wall of Dad’s
obstinacy.       The bricks
in his       nerve must’ve
loosened:       he drove
off, stayed       all afternoon
out of range.       Toward L.A.,
I pass       the Miramar Melmac
sign, think       of her—
the flowered dishware
she purchased       as replacements;
my wish       she were
thermoset plastic.       She was more
like that sign—       flaking paint,
empty       light sockets,
patches of bare       metal—

Currently an MFA Writing candidate at California State University, Long Beach, Jonathan Yungkans is a Los Angeles-native poet, writer and photographer with an intense love for the sea and local history. His works have appeared in Lime Hawk, Twisted Vine Literary Journal, West Texas Literary Review and other publications. His poetry chapbook, Colors the Thorns Draw, was published by Desert Willow Press in August 2018.

Photographer’s Note: The dishes against the brick wall. I understand that. Here is my brick wall photo.