Then and Now

I am drinking a glass bottle of coke before brushing my teeth, still in bed under the white covers while my father, who had already gone out into the cold morning and seen something that I absolutely had to see sits on the other bed, dressed. I whine that waking me so early is child…

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Gifts (v2)

He is shopping in a bazaar bright and spacious bubbles blow from hookahs He picks up a conch, examines an oyster with the embedded start of a pearl. He has already brought me seashells so he puts them back. Has already brought me an embroidered cloth cap that I will never wear a sequined fanny…

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Gifts (version one)

My father brought me books Monet in the 90s, Mastering the Art of Drawing, The Garden of Eden And Bollywood magazines She, Femina, Stardust Heart-shaped earrings, a necklace of beads made of lacquered paper and seashells and bags with elephants embroidered on them Brightly colored scarves ridiculous t shirts grocery store flowers, arabic store bread…

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Circles

My mother tells me, as we’re laying in bed, arms folded over our eyes to block the light In her dim apartment because she never opens the blinds because natural light irritates her–she turns on lamps to read and then shields her eyes to nap. I don’t say this as an assault against my mother–it…

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Bike

You taught me to ride a bike. The metaphors here arrive fully assembled, no poet required: A father letting go, a daughter learning balance. So predictable, I wonder if the memory: sunlight, sidewalk, scabbed knees is even my own. Except that I remember the line of fear running from throat to stomach the urgency to…

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Watching

My father’s face was usually obscured by a camera clutched in his palm pressed to the hollow around his eye He saw the world as a photograph waiting to be taken A film to capture and replay at will. He recorded us eating and sleeping, Mouths open. Slowly waking. He recorded us getting into the…

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Rewind

Does everyone remember their father’s hands Tapping the kitchen table with his middle three fingers Turning the pages of the newspaper Pointing to a map then touching his lip Pushing the cassette in to fast forward eject select another cassette, ribbons rustling rewind searching Looking for that old song,that one ghazal that will take him…

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