In the early dark of Saturday morning, D & I were lost, looping along the neon strip malls, somewhere between Eastwood & the Heights, between the thick heat of Star Bar & the stumbling party of Dane's house, between what's possible and desired, what's seen and remains unseen, what's historical & what we do to fill in the story's blanks. Then, two days of odd sleep, rain and stomachaches, less to do with hunger and more to do with time. A sad movie & a Mexican breakfast, stray dogs always on the street. "I love you for shattering," says Dean Young, in his poem "Commencement Address,""Someone has to."
When I am done speaking to one parent, they give a long holler to the other, on a different floor of the house, to pick up the phone. We learned the long holler, from the first floor to the third, to stand at the foot of the steps and push a long sound up, to let the vowel echo outwards in Mooooooooom(Paaaaam), in Daaaaaaad(Daaaavid), in Beeeeeen in Sooooophiiieee. My mother tells me again that her whole life has been framed by her father's early death, that she grew up with a paralyzing fear of sickness. I grew up feeling that I could do anything I wanted, for better or worse, but that I would always be sick. Now my mother & I send comic strips in the mail, speak in child-memory & babble, speak from our affinity for the tiny & strange. My father is watching the football game. They say, "You are the only child who calls us." I sit in my little wishing room & wish.
"I love you for shattering. / Someone has to."
"Don't write a poem about this," says D, "Don't, like seriously don't. Okay? Okay, cuz I'm serious. Don't write about me." I tell him that I won't, that I wouldn't and this is a lie, and of course I will and the air between us sometimes like a spring. "I won't write about this. I mean, I'll write about this," he says, "but it will be like not even here at all. Not like this, no. No, no." And so on ; my empathy makes a little boat, carries into evening.
So what? So now it's Sunday. Clean-up, have some coffee, see the white spaces arranged around text in a way that pushes meaning. Get up, go on, go.