Empty Rooms


I look into the empty room where my daughter lives
and wonder what she’s doing, if she’s smiling
if she’s closing her eyes, reaching a hand to mine
if her mother remembers what it’s like when I touch her heart
and the world moves

I look around and wonder if this place is a cell or a coffin
steamed by the sun, alone with my self,
a door slammed through the wall of my future,
and miss the woman I should have believed before now

I look outside and wonder if she knows who I am:
stuck in the body of a little boy I see tucked into a bottle
where chairs fly, glasses shatter and insults flash:
“you’ll never be anything”
“no one will ever want to be with you”
“I’m ashamed of you”
“you oughta be god-damn ashamed of yourself”
“No woman will stay with you
because her parents will be ashamed of you”

I will be looking inside, because I have to
see how much of that is true,
how much ice I can melt
without worrying how much of what remains will be spat out

I will be wide open
for you, for us, for myself, for her

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