Heard the word son alone in the kitchen
of my childhood home.
His gravelly drawl was unmistakable.
I waited for him to say more, but
memories of my father are strangers
to each other. And every stranger
becomes a ghost passing
through another stranger’s life.
A wind tapped at the window,
wanted to say something, too.
When he was alive,
I did not listen
until I wanted
and I did not want
until he was silent
in a disposable suit.
I gave it a shot: pressed my ears
against the shingles, cold.
(originally published in In-flight Literary Magazine, Fall 2016)
With every step, the air parted
and spoke your name.
Smog and all, would you forget
the jagged alleys where
we fermented, became wine?
Its knife cut ribbons, red
repelling the pressure of four A.M breathing.
Driving home from San Francisco down the coast,
each Joshua tree prayed
to a vastness greater than the desert.
The long, Pacific vistas became the sheen
of old Mustangs caught beneath shadows
of Wilshire’s vacant towers.
Our heels kicked dust
and browned the sky–
ever were the hours sand
on the beach, infinite and pearling
a microscopic glint…
the ocean still haunts–
its salt so embedded
in our skin.
(originally published in Rust+Moth, Spring 2016)