Wreck Everything

Maultsaid, D. (2020, Oct.) Wreck Everything. Riddle Fence, #37, Fall, 2020

By Deirdre Maultsaid

The cat scrabbled on the shelf, gave one
choked howl, and landed upright

on the couch back. I watched the cat.
The cat watched my mother. The round black

vase tipped, it toppled, it fell. Shards
clattered and rocked. The surface of

Oaxaca clay, burnished with the back
of a silver spoon had shone

like jet, like sky. With three splayed
legs and a lattice of cut-out triangles

at its lip, it was heavy, present,
ours. My mother turned off

the stove with a quick click. The pan
clanged. She threw potato wedges

to the floor and jumped
on them, splattering her

Cuban heels. “Let’s wreck everything!
Everything! How do you like them

apples?” She slapped me
—my brother says she didn’t—

dragged up
the needle from my sweet-
voiced Jackson Five 45

of “Ben”. She slapped down
a mariachi record, the peal of
silver trumpets moving
her forward. Taller, she turned

to my brother, now sweeping
and sniffling, “Stop it.

Right now.”
–My brother says she didn’t—

She lunged
and grabbed

by two black paws the cat
still slinking nearby. She held it out

like a gift. It stiffened.
My mother shouted

at me: “Open the damn door”.

The End   

untethered vol. 5.2 Launch Party – Deirdre Maultsaid reading Wreck Everything
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