Father’s Day and Night

Father’s Day and Night

I touch the pain
the place
in my Father
that he doesn’t want seen

it’s called a vein
and he filled it till it almost choked
throttled his body’s motor out into the night
returned to us wrecked and ravaged

on the third day
God said
let the dry man appear
and it was so

packed away his kit and bag
said; what happened was this
it got really, really bad out there
and I had to come inside

and he collected 30 days
and 30 nights
in his pocket

his eyes registered blank
and there was the kinda fire
there no one had seen started
except the ground had gone black
and the water was rising hot

keep coming back
they said
and so he did

I touched the place in him that had burned down
long, long ago
and I put it all in a box
carried it out of the wreckage
like Pompeii ashes along the highway

I said ‘Pops, why don’t we just let the past stay behind us,
the next town doesn’t even know what we’re made of yet’

and on the fourth day
they went out
to divide the light from the darkness
and though it was not
and might never be good
it was what there was
and it was almost more than enough.


People Say We Look Like Our Mothers But We Look Like Mountains

We don’t always
pack well
for love’s journey
twisted root hems the star line
of fallow field
call yourself by the name
that others gave to you
on dark nights
and you will always burn
come highway or mirror storm
anchor bent by the wind
of abandoned farmlands
the inner child has had enough
of what you call being grown
tell me,
if you had only one day left
would you spend it like this
or would you write all of those letters
you one day meant to write
to angels/demons you had wronged
would you say sorry
to the deers you left on highways
with bandaged star light
dangling from their chins
chin up, little one
you’ve no idea
just how much road
you’ve got under you
no one has it down
this wild rushing
water line that sacks
the breath clean across
the mountains of
who you meant to be
and who you just beautifully
and brokenly are.


The Pressing Bodies of Over-Dark

I held the steadfast
blood trickle
call me any day
I’m not blind
and empty like you said
things change
but not hometowns
every hole in the wall
is still there
collecting moonlight
in its small tunnel of plaster
fake out kisses near the highway store
one hand under your sweater
we could be starlings
stupid and no good
did you hear they moved this town skyward
and november reeked of chemtrails
and saturday front porch parties
sad skin touching sad
disappearing friends
your mascara
running
from the cops
how did we not die
of course it’ll never be the same
we died, surely- it was snowing
you were pantless and looking for your keys
we opened the mouth of god
our fingertips skulled the great wide dark
the world went to our head, our hips
sweaty, the last thing I remember
is you turning into a pure white cloud
and all that rain
all that beautiful rain.

“The Pressing Bodies of Over-Dark” was previously published in Bone & Ink Press.

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018) and founding editor of Anti-Heroin Chic. His poems have appeared in Moonchild Magazine, Occulum, and Thimble. He lives by the simple but true motto that “feelings matter” every shape and size of feeling. He believes that every small act of kindness makes an often unseen but significant difference in someone’s life and hopes that his poems are a small piece of that.

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