House with a Pool
Garret Travis

In the yard the too blue pool bubbles like primordial goo. The lights underwater strobe and blink and through my curtain I can see them shimmering on the white ceiling.

My phone is between my legs receiving endless emails. My mother is sitting up in bed over my sleeping father. Her nails are sharp enough to scrape through the wall that separates our rooms. If we could claw apart this wall we could form some new room or space where our belongings collide and merge. Two beds, two armoires, five windows, two TVs flashing at one another.

In the morning the pool is calm again but red. My mother washing dishes ignores it. My father smokes a cigarette next to it. There are clumps of dead snakes at the bottom of the deep end, a pile of forgotten rubber.

I drop some books down into the water for the snakes because I feel very bad for them but the pages just disintegrate; only the words remain and they float down to plaster the corroding scaly skin.

Upstairs I have scratched away about 3 inches of the wall. My fingers are really bloody and my nails shattered. I check the emails on my phone—over 1000—all from the pool, all picture attachments of bubbles or snakes or cigarettes or teeth or ears or severed limbs or people starving in Third World countries.

My brother through the curtain is touching the water with his toe. The water is yellow now and murky. My brother dives in and does not resurface.

The pool burps. It asks for another.
I ask my mother
For another

My father smokes cigarettes until his teeth fall out. The dog watches TV on the couch. I go for a drive and my hands bleed all over the steering wheel.