for Dad

I’m writing you
         10 years later
    & 2,000 miles
                 Away from 
    Our silence
My mouth a cave
That had collapsed 
      I’m writing
  While you 
You wear the
                Hospital gown & 
          count failures
  Such as the body’s 
Inability to rise
             I see your fingers 
Fumbling in the
       Pillbox     as if
             Earthquakes are in
    Your hands
                I think it’s time
    For us to  abandon
Our cruelties
             For us to speak
So     s    o    f    t 
We’re barely

Copyright © 2018 by Christopher Soto. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 2, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem
“This poem was written after Eduardo C. Corral's ‘To a Straight Man.’ Corral tends to write in shorter lines and with strong images that flip almost spontaneously, in accordance with the emotional energy of his poems. In this poem I attempted to copy Corral's form and technique because it feels so much different than what I am accustomed to writing. I usually feel most comfortable with longer lines that are rhetorically or politically centered. This poem was a new writing experiment for me.”
—Christopher Soto