Christmas at my In-laws

It is cold in this house, and they
turn on the air conditioner on at seventy degrees.
I’m uncomfortable
to begin with, this topic of a racist angle, it’s
as if the world and all the people within were splayed out
before them, reflected in a funny mirror as they sailed across the sky.

I keep getting asked why I’m not
talking, skulked off to
one corner, taking comfort in a
glass of wine someone told
me I would like.

‘Are you not having fun?’ and I have answered in my head, but doubt that
screaming at them would do
little more than make them stare.

I am not like them, loud and invasive questions about your health,
and weight, and diet. Ask about my major, one more time. Ask me what I plan to do! Ask me if I am sick to
death of you telling me I shouldn’t do it…

Hide behind my toothy smile, backed into a corner. It’s as if
they will not hear
the fury boiling under my restrained comments, nor will they acknowledge
the deep growl
rolling in the back of my throat.


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