More Than an Address

Last month,
my heart beat itself
into my 29th lap at life,
14 years deep
in spilling ink
and I have yet
to address you.

born to islanders for parents
that spoke a dialect of love
so broken,
it could be translated
into abuse
all too easily.

with the mother
that chose to raise daughter
instead of son
for a sum of reasons
I still can’t calculate.

with the austere father
that robbed you of weekends,
summer breaks,
and childhood days
to secure a man that knows
he, who cheats himself
from labor today,
saves himself the crumbs
for his daily bread tomorrow.

Last night,
the eyes of the woman I love
inquired for the inventory
to my damage.
the barcode of my lashes
pitched a price too high
for my pride to break the bank.

But verbally,
I complied.
My reply:
“I never felt
like I was enough.”

At times,
parental love
felt rationed.
At times,
I envied the island
from whence they came
because the dialect
of the ocean’s love
was all encompassing and
I just wanted to be
loved that way.

in a house with two kids
did I feel like the third option to love?
did I have to question
if blood was thicker than water?
were you going to inform me
that I was something worth bragging about
well after the party was over,
well after church luncheon?

may not be a confessional
but I needed you to be real with me.
Some twenty odd laps at life
still searching for approval
isn’t the idea formula for sanity,
or the blueprint
for constructing a man’s confidence.
Fourteen years of spilled ink
got me skilled to sink
in someone else’s moccasins,
when I just needed you to show me
how to walk in my own.

I needed to know
what home felt like,
needed to see
that it was more than walls,
more than ceiling.
I needed to know
it was comprised of feeling
more than longing,
of loving and belonging
to something more than an address
I used to call home.



Let us
synchronize our watches,
temper this quartz,
realign these gears,
to the moments we lost;
the hour hand
to scoured faults,
the minute’s
to those too minute,
the second’s
to those that came second to none,
to the moment before we became

Let us
excavate the grounds
of derelict vows,
expose the time capsule
of abandoned futures;
disinter the words we buried
with our former selves,
splinter them,
place them under our tongues
as they agitate us to be spoken
bleeding broken
seeping open past pursed lips,
to stir our heart’s poles
to kiss once more,
declare divorce
from the schism between.

We will
blur the shadow
of this sundial,
eclipse it with
whatever we have left to muster,
topple over the gnomon,
take its place and declare
Time, within our hands…
Making exclamation points our present,
periods our past,
and question marks?
Our definite future tense…

I’m resetting our clocks tonight,
wake me up in the past,
to a morning you existed as my sunrise.