Peach

Leave a comment

June 15, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Chelsey Clammer

 

There, south of the half-moon sliver of a fingernail. My sight pools on the blood drooling patiently from the crevices of his skin, the thumb picked out to be picked on. I want to say his skin was peach. Peach as in the color of the leather loveseat in our living room. My mother called it orange. My father, tan. We were never too poetic with colors, were not very conclusive. My father was colorblind. Browns confusing themselves with greens. Perhaps he looked more like the bland color of an old Sedan. Nothing bold or shocking, no peach or orange, just a muted tan. He never said much.

Driving together to Home Depot to buy wood the color of a dying tree, my father is high on sobriety. I stare into the moments of dust flying with his sprightly ashy hands as they tap a beat on the steering wheel to “The White Album.” His large muted hands turn the black leather wheel. The sun shifts positions. The dust settles into being unseen, retreating from my sight. A shadow considers itself across the liveliness of his sober eyes. It resolves on his nose, the brim of his gray golf cap the source. I hated that hat—without reason.

In the car, we slowly turn down rigid angles of residential streets. Crawl through the back entrance of Home Depot. An orange sign. Orange unlike our furniture. Something needs to be built. We still haven’t found a conversation. He steers with his left hand, the yellow crack of a nail catching a gray shadow. Gray, not peach, but gray like his body, like how it was when I kissed his forehead that one and only time, after he was dead. His right hand is consumed with holding thirty-two ounces of coffee. Some addictions must persist.

And there were clouds; white, not gray, painted above my bed when he would come into my room at night, drunk, to kiss my forehead asleep.

I look down at my hands.

I wonder if I’m an alcoholic.

The skin on his thumb peels back with a pick. His index finger nuzzles it with an air of control, that of which he is certain now unfurling in this motion. This subject he knows well.

Are you worried? He asks me as he looks up from the peach nail creviced with bits of blood. His dark brown eyes focus on the orange sign ahead, my answer waiting tentatively in the air.

After Home Depot, after he starts drinking again, after he dies of alcohol poisoning, after I pass out each night for six years, after that, my answer becomes yes. I am worried.

There is a scab on my thumb now. I pick at my skin liked he picked at his. The things I learned from my father. Like drinking, like how peach flesh turns gray when its dead and you kiss it away.

The sunlight urges the idea of peach. I try to remember his as alive, but come up only with the image of life slowly seeping out of him. I forgot to say he was building me a bookcase to hold words of love he did not know how to utter. I threw the bookcase out just yesterday, the alley’s tar sticking to the cheap wood.

 

Chelsey Clammer received her MA in Women’s Studies from Loyola University Chicago. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Windy City TimesMake/shift, THIS, Sleet Magazine, Spittoon, Stone Highway, the Seal Press anthology It’s All in Her Head and on www.feministing.com. A resident of Minneapolis, MN, Chelsey is currently working on a collection of creative nonfiction essays about finding the concept of home in the body, as well as a second collection of essays, in which this essay appears, titled There Is Nothing Else to See Here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
5 months to go.

🍋 Instagram

Robert Carr’s “Anchor” is what happens when the tangible aspects of heritage are missing. The speaker is left holding a telephone cord and the remnants of his mother’s voice getting further away. A concise stack of images begin the poem, taking us back to a time when the simplicity of toys meant family. In Carr’s hands, the poem is rooted and rootless at the same time, and now I reflect on the rotary phone, heirlooms from old houses, and my people. -Eric Steineger Managing Editor/Senior #amreading #TheCitronReview #Spring2019Issue #10thanniversary #cheersto10years https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/anchor/
The Center, if it holds, requires the Hole, as if the Spiral were pressed in a vinyl disk. Set the heart of Nothing on the spindle and start the record round; "Record" by James B. Nicola #TheCitronReview #Spring2019 #amreading https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/record/
Marriage! That blessed arrangement! https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/white-wedding/ #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Now in our Spring Issue, Helen Chambers invites us to read now of forever hold our peace. https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/spring-wedding/ #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Knitters of the world, unite! "Turtles" is a needle-gripping flash from @kaelyhorton . March with us toward passionate prose. (Stitching now our handmade Spring 2019 Issue.) https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/turtles/ #amreading #flashfiction
Tornado of Flash Fiction Warning! https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/outside-of-oklahoma/ #amreading #Spring2019 #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: