Use Your Words

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…