Darkest Secret

The smallish courtroom in the smallish building in the smallish town near the coast. I used to say the armpit of Texas and that is when I liked the place where the d.a. joked in juvenile court about the time his underlings ribbed him for his inadvertently possessed marijuana plant

I

I carry around the iterations of the Baptist pastor, the university president, the camp cook, the college preacher, the old friend, missionary doctor, adoptive cohort, biological aunts, uncles, cousins

Immediate family

With fear in their eyes because I

I

Told the story

About everything except the day they adjudicated Charles

My subjunctive regret

Had I been present in the smallish courtroom in the smallish building with the smallish judge

Would they still have been able to

Lie for him?

Let him off so Scott-free

Smallish voice says over and over

I should have been there.

That day.

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