Use Your Words

Blas Falconer
You said bad men waited inside
your mouth, which meant a fire
 
was catching. We drove toward
a cloud of smoke that rose above
 
the city. In the mirror, I saw
the wide belt strapped across
 
your chest, and on the radio,
men stormed the gates
 
in another country. I do
love you, you said, looking out.
 
The window held the sun
flatly. I held my breath. The brush
 
had not been cleared in weeks,
and the mountain prepared to burn.

More by Blas Falconer

My Son Wants to Know Who His Biological Father Is

My son wants to know 
his name. What does he look like? What does 
he like? My son swims 
four days a week. When my son swims 
underwater, he glides 
between strokes. When he glides underwater, he is 
an arrow aimed 
at a wall. Four days a week, his coach says, 
Count—1…2…—before 
coming up for air. 
My father had blue eyes, blonde hair,
though mine are brown. 
My father could not speak 
Spanish and wondered, How can you love 
another man? We rarely touched. 
When my son 
is counting, I count 
with him. I say, I am 
your father, too. 1…2…