Sunday, April 28, 2013

My dad's dreams

My father sat on the backseat in a small cardboard box

while I quarreled with my siblings.

The rain was coming down in buckets,

the Santa Cruz mountain roads winding,

a felled branch and we were stalled.

Nobody taught me what to do with the big empty space

his death made. I hunkered inside it like a boxing ring,

punching at every human who crossed my path.

I hated my father as much as I loved him

and there was no body to hate any more

so I hated all bodies. My father's get rich quick

dreams always ended in the redwoods

so we left him, in the end, there, water

pooling at the base of a trunk. I watched my father's

ashes swirl. A dozen years later I still need something

solid to hit in his absence, my fists hit my mattress,

there's so much of my past I can't remember

even if I sense it in my limbs. Today, I rode the same

winding roads of Santa Cruz--not a cloud in the sky,

the heat of late spring, and I slept and I dreamed my dad's dreams.

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