We can no longer be a we, we tell him while he is pulling roots from the garden for Mother, we need to split off now, we need a woman, we tell him, we need women. You will be women eventually, he says, and laughs. Nothing is funny. We are women now. We are men now. You don’t know what’s between our legs, we tell him. He laughs again. We are not together anymore, we tell him, so pretend you don’t know us. He rolls his eyes and continues his work.
It is a long hallway down to Mother, who is still sitting quietly upon the davenport, feet up on the sides, legs long and crossed, her wrist resting on her forehead, her other arm and hand resting palm down on her stomach.
We can no longer be a we, we say. There is no we anymore. We are going to go far away from him, we say. But we are not leaving. Look in the mirror, this beard, this moustache. Look at this chest. Look at this hair. We are not going anywhere.
There is a room on the left, a bathroom, all of those shavings left on the skin. Brother leans in, one hand steadying him on the porcelain, so much porcelain, on the sink. He is shaving tight, he is saying a meditation of ouch and goddamn under his breath. Leave him alone, he says, he’s trying to make a living.
Our Father is on the roof fixing a hole that is in the living room, leaking water, leaking rain, swelling the walls and the ceiling. We are leaving, we tell him. Bye, I’ll miss you, I love you, he says. Be sure to write.