I would wake up just before dawn & try
to escape the teasing light, my defiant body
somehow still above ground & pulsing
while the pavement watched. I never ran
anywhere. I always ended up at the same
place. But I would return, always then, anyway
battered by the sharp wind to a mausoleum
of stacked & scattered cardboard boxes
that rarely had the chance to collect any
dust. Everything I loved was temporary.
It was the morning Tío was killed &
I sat at the top of the stairs of my attic
bedroom. You had twins on the way, Papi,
& I held a calendar that mapped a path
from the sadness & claimed it as my
home. I am a father now counting the days
until my child turns fourteen. My wife calls
it the year that does not end. We are not waiting
for anything, she tells me, not failure or death
or whatever is to come.
Papi, how do I become
half the man you are & not the man you were?