“Albert Triantis” by Louis Bourgeois

What do I remember?

Sadness, mostly, and borrowing your homemade pirogue to trap nutria and musk rat when I was thirteen.

I remember your fat wife and the horrible divorce you didn’t want.  I remember how she left you once she got thin, and I remember that wasn’t fair by anyone’s standards.

I remember you talking about the night, about how you didn’t like darkness at all.  I remember the darker-than-night houses where you lived and just couldn’t escape no matter how hard you tried.

I remember your miserably thick mustache and those pin black eyes that were holding so much back, trying hard to keep so much at bay.

What were you trying to hold back, exactly?

It wasn’t bad blood really.  Just a kind of permanent lethargy that just wouldn’t let you become anything, not even a real worker.

Those years driving oversize trucks, across the whole of America, to nowhere, except to a paycheck, till finally you dropped dead somewhere in Montana where not a single person knew your name.

Only a few were left back home in Slidell to dig your grave.  At least there was that, and not a Crematorium, but real dirt and a headstone to boot, attesting to a name.

Louis Bourgeois is the Executive Director of VOX PRESS, INC. His latest book, Hosanna, is a collection of aphorisms published by Xenos Press. Currently, he lives and writes in Oxford, Mississippi.