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Neither Telemachus nor Ocean

This poem is a response to Ocean Vuong's Telemachus


& there my father stayed out of reach for a decade,

unlike Little Dog, I didn't have the chance

to sink deeper with him,

for I am all ready to drown and be still:

the way century-past forgotten rocks

dwell with the forthcoming waves.

for whatever water he may be in rafting alone

I might not be able to come aboard

nothing but paper receipts every month;

it's the closest, solely, I was ever to be with him.

and I have no other face to wear

even of my mother's I can't and will not

for there is but antipodal faces

ready not to be attached

for only maternal [could be paternal]

dolorous things happen.

I've become a Kami, pa,

folded, crafted, ready to float,

in hopes of being harbored near him,

near where the after-wet storm could be released

not forcefully but gracefully as sliding honeysuckle-

& I am ready to be tugged

Out of the waters, to be tended.

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