ON GENETICS AND FATHERLESS ANGST

Mama told me that I’m just like pops with

the way I let things rock and

let my mouth close when my head get hot.

I was two when he burnt the road up,

and at 13, I looked in the mirror

and I popped questions

about the 1300 miles he scorched.

 

His face looks just like mine.

I ain’t seen a man yet.

When I see him,img_3354-1

and he looks at me,

I bet he thinks I’m a man now,

like him

I pay my bills like him,

I pay my taxes like him,

I pay attention,

 

“I’m a man, look at me when I’m talking to you!”

 

But I can’t help and look the other way,

and he can’t hear the things I want to say,

because my lips stay closed like his.

 

My blood boils,

and the mirror lies to me;

I’m just like pops.

 

Who’s this man supposed to be?

 

The man I see

can answer his own questions

and doesn’t have to ask

the mirror

or the road

or the rising smoke.

 

But Mama told me that I’m just like pops.

July 9, 2016

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