Uncle Rocky Rewrite

1987

I am not ready for any more acne. My sister admits it’s much more than malignant. She sits on Jillian’s twin bed, makes herself bewail to the Bangles, “Eternal Flame.”

1988

The Bartlett calendar has off-days you’d hope. We hear Sabbath from my neighbor’s tool-shed. His name is Neil and this is all he remembers for us.

1989

My granddad says a man is so much something when he has his own room.

Early 1990

Ryan, Uncle Rocky has AIDS. It is all over the kitchen, our bathroom, our living room. Hide your toothbrush.

Late 1990

Rocky’s long asleep somewhere upstairs, in the hallway, resting his legs for Man of La Mancha. Resting his limbs for someone else, he dances disclosed beneath a long hum in a playhouse room on another island.

2013

I still hear his summer samba as if it were a sonata, the crimson chords moving to angry blue. I still see him if I look away.

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2 thoughts on “Uncle Rocky Rewrite

  1. Jillian says:

    You’re awesome.

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