Silent morning crashed by knuckled knocking–
“Do you want breakfast?” he asks like clockwork.
A man who eats to fuel his quest for the next meal.
I remember the bed and breakfast crawl we made
visiting New England in late fall of the festival trees
the first snow of Vermont outside a barn-turned pub.
The magic peppered with the strafing questions like
“Do you want pizza? Are we getting soft serve?”
And we just finished breakfast not even an hour ago.
We laughed and sighed heavily too mocking the man.
Mom was herself then and could join in the jeering.
This man she married from birth delivering herself too.
Broken windows, airless in vomitous heat of rat breath
this sweat shop he worked in nearly all of his adulthood
feeding too many mouths that barely spoke to his image.
He convinced himself from so fateful a day–stay boxed
when only he tripped on the rug pulled under his feet
by friends joy riding days to sweet steals, jobs or dying.
A mind goes empty in the cabin of fear dank and dark
communing with foreign tongues, solemn shells of skin.
Like solitary confinement for 48 years, no one remains.
So we dwell on the asking, the feeding, breaking bread
we two who watch our center fold in on herself slowly
eking death out slow-steady for lack of a conversation.
“No, I already ate,” he hears expectantly but undaunted.
“Come on. You’re too skinny and you need to eat more.”
Words endlessly cut and pasted on a screen of our lives.
Other words fly scatter shot red-orange like those trees
the ones in New Hampshire that year we traveled miles
from my rage-ful grimace, head banging steering wheel.
Remind me of a father’s daughter teetered on seesaws
lifted by the weighted desire dreamed in obedient love
and grounded earth bound to shackled birthright chains.
Invisible strands heated like electric coils of metallic sin
knit our knotted ties seemingly eternal yet dust shallow
as we journey the branches we are and make complete.
The insatiable consumption of air heats the moving parts,
wills an engine movement to carry bodies across lands
upon which fathers and daughters feed the mime of time.