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…
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.