by David Veloz
Sour but generous, our father drank water like wine, sipping, sniffing, and swallowing what seemed barely enough to wet the pipes; but at night he'd splash our turned-up faces, smiling pink from playing into the dusk, until there was water on our collars and on the floor. I had no idea that water could cure a man or be the difference between who stood tall and swollen and who sneered with contempt when forced to swim. I only knew that he was slow, unlaughing, that he hated ice cubes in his soup, that I was fat and slippery, always wet at the mouth, my palms cool and sticky after square dancing, and that rain never lasted long enough for me but brought sharp curses from his mouth. The only way I saw our difference was the water.