Hardly worth saying. Is it? Hardly worth repeating: come back, Dead Man, we need you. Please. For a while, at least, stay for a card game or for tea. Your father waits, smoking in bitterness on the balcony. Huddling among the singlets hanging on the clothes wire, ignoring the rain. Dirt on the soles of his feet which, when he finally goes back inside, he tracks through the apartment, to the fridge in the kitchen. Where your mother is, making a pot of eel soup, another one, thirteenth night in a row. Enough with the soup, my God. Enough spice to sting the neighbours’ nostrils and clear the alleyway of tabby cats. Your father barely touches his dinner, letting it grow cold on the dining table when he steps back outside to smoke and watch the traffic. Your mother doesn’t even serve herself a bowl, instead she keeps the pot warm, the rice ready. Your photograph has been pinned to a chain link fence somewhere, no one knows when or who did it. The night is filled with sirens but they are not for you.
Tristan Foster is a writer from Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Letter to the Author of the Letter to the Father and 926 Years, co-authored with Kyle Coma-Thompson.
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