Watching Him Cross

by Austin Araujo

          What desire brims in him—: so late in spring
this initial crossing. The river a stillness.

          My father stuck scaling reeds. Mud anchoring
his boots. To pass time, he reads the stitches,

          his jeans. Maybe he has to say them aloud,
move his lips, & whisper like he will to bless

          his children each night. Our arms, small allowances
of light, will be crossed, too. Eyes closed, like his.

          He will not tell us of the cities along the way—:
the story will start at the river, then, suddenly,

          Texas—: like how my chest might begin to betray
me with cough, & his hand will arrive honeyed

          with Vicks VapoRub—: but not yet, but already
aching: now distant river: strawberry:

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