Marissa Alvarez

Father Mourning

Father Sleeping by Kate Choi

I remember the day we buried his father
                    how he cried and couldn’t speak
                                                          or look anyone in the eye
looked my age suddenly

I remember how the dirt felt
sliding from fingers to coffin
a bright meaningless sun followed us that day
a few weeks later we would walk to his brother’s grave

Dad clutched Mom’s hand
like there was nothing else
like letting go
                      would be getting lost in a department store in a strange town
      a little limpet of hope

in public contrast he’s bravado
el jefe plans for expansion
a mile a second to outpace
                                           any stillness between heartbeats
if he slows down
                           he might remember standing over graves

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