Uncle Tim and I Fix the Dishwasher
Everything looks exactly the same. I can’t tell the difference between what I hold in each hand—screwdriver, wrong screwdriver— all scattered on the kitchen floor, the parts cracked jagged keep leaking. Your father should’ve taught you this, he says, reaching for what is, I guess, a flathead. He once dreamt he was a speck of dust on the doorknob of his childhood home, until some hand turned the handle, so, unaffixed, then gathered, he was carried past the keyhole, where he maybe glimpsed my grandma one last time before he woke, cheek pressed to the carpet. Do you ever stop yourself, he shifts his weight, his body now older than his mother’s and father’s will ever be, and father’s too, from calling your dad on the telephone? I’d like to make my hand a valve he could fasten into place. He wipes his forehead, palms the guts of the machine. We stay kneeling. The last time he was here, he was also on his knees, helping me lift dad off this tile, this same tile where his catheter bag split open. He slipped in his own strewn mess. We taped it—a quick fix—until it split open again.