the musk of fresh rain water spinning through the steam.
My father’s foot stuck-still
His eyes gaining focus – in, then out, then in – scanning the room,
I corner-knelt—my hands
soaking up the skin of my cheeks.
Humming, mumbling, waiting.
He said, “I will kill myself right now, I swear to God.”
Tears tumbled liquid over
my fingers, turned solid at my wrists,
and as I watched his shirts lay flat on the floor,
no longer swirling through the living room,
my mother said,
Mallory Rader spends a majority of her time in the fetal position. She graduated from Youngstown State University in 2019 and has been published in Fourth and Sycamore, Volney Road Review, West Trade Review, The Bookends Review, The Write Launch, and others.