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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Regrets

The prompt was regret and it led me in so many directions that I’ll certainly need to explore. The feeling of your uncalloused hand around mine is A strong enough memory to withstand direct examination But I can’t remember the last moment I saw you alive, can’t really remember the moment you walked out the…

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Eighty

Do you remember me walking on your back, while you counted, groaning after a long day of whatever it was that fathers did when they went to work with latched briefcases? Remember how I tried to keep my balance until you got to one hundred, but you always rocked on your belly around eighty so…

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