Wasn't it just yesterday
Your hand eclipsed mine,
When you stretched ten feet tall,
My tiny footsteps miles behind?
And wasn't it just yesterday,
My toes pranced ballerina-style,
A balance beam made of your back,
And your moustache relaxed into a smile?
Forty-plus yesterdays ago,
I adorned the bathroom do'
With a glittered sign reading "$3 Shampoo,"
And proceeded diligently to tangle your 'fro.
All those yesterdays ago,
When I wet-braided your hair,
And Ultra Sheened your scalp,
Admonished you in my salon chair.
You were "Daddy" then,
Full of firefly tomorrows,
Of hot-mustard-doused "swammp-fied" rice,
Of sheltering me from unwished sorrows.
Can you hear my laughter now
Echoing off the bath tiles,
Thawing your frosty heart
While mine shatters across the miles?
Why did you get that flesh mole zapped,
The one I never failed to rake across
With that black hard-plastic comb?
Oh, how much your pain has cost!
How is it that I've turned grayer than you,
Grown hoarse from screaming at your silence?
Over the years my arms have grown tired
Of catching your horse shit from this distance.
Forty years have come to this:
An impasse due to an incapacity to accept
That love is a shape-shifting entity,
And we both are prematurely bereft.
What's happened over these forty years?
When did my heart free itself of yours and capsize?
Which of our silences is the greater void?
Who is tortured more that I inherited your eyes?
* * *
Like a kite beckoned by a breeze
Whistling along a stretch of sky,
Your love lifted,
No, it drifted far away from me,
So when you're fishing out at sea,
Hissing and pissing with your buddies
About the one that got away,
See me catch a wave
And wave goodbye.