Self-Portrait, Shrugging

My father tried to kill himself three times, once with an electric socket. The lights throughout the house went “pop!” I would shrug when people asked me what happened. Another time he tried to hang himself with his belt, and it was just luck that the ceiling hook came loose. I was about to turn nine. I remember because I had recently won an award for most improved speller. There wasn’t a day I didn’t come home from school shaking inside. And so maybe I only think I remember the cop cars in the driveway and all that glass shattering.

Howie Good is the author of three recent collections, I'm Not a Robot from Tolsun Books, The Titanic Sails at Dawn from Alien Buddha Press, and What It Is and How to Use It from Grey Book Press. He co-edits Unbroken and UnLost journals.