5thApr. × ’10

I barely know you
face so swollen
years passed too.

It shouldn’t be such a struggle
to tune out what does not matter—
music from another room,
someone else’s troubles,
getting whole milk out of public schools,
breathing, diaphragm and trachea,
(plunging into anything)

I cannot fathom
that you are a man
or alone.

But we see with stethoscopes
misunderstanding created by ropes
wondering what’s beneath
worried over approval stamps (not cheap)
symphony of typewriter clinks
new machinery
the silent car
disappeared process
Where’s start?

In chorus the family repeats kaddish
try to give the love that’s missing
the void that will never be filled

You were my first crush
first hope of touch
the rush
of feeling.

Your mother suddenly
taken by a bus
bike helmet and all
the greatest precautions

Vulnerability at its worse
hurts like nothing else
we’ll ever know.

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