Backlit in D
better known to his wives, his children,
poetic followers and brothers as
O. Sam A’Bin’ Laden
peacefully in his sleep. weird.
March 9, 1957 – May 2, 2011 RIP
At a red hot light
a bang like a shrill vacuum
stampeded my father who
looked up through the blue in his windshield
at the small-town sky in anticipation for
death from above.
Instead a crying girl
apologized for the bumper
she drove the black carriage
that transplanted him back
to his mostly suppressed youth in a
monastery in Lebanon
where he’d buried the dead between bombings
because the other boys were too afraid of ghosts.
Maybe it wasn’t 88
but that’s how I always remember it.
88 Ashkars I will never meet
slaughtered under cars, in their homes.
30 years and 7,000 miles away I’m safe and
I couldn’t imagine losing 88 (or so).
I saw your face change into
how I recognize you today.
Where technology is your first hand
it is my second.
I could always match the capital with its lower-
Sometimes, I’d confuse M and m
with N and n. Now I only confuse east and west
and I think I might’ve learned them wrong.
Because we can’t say love yet
we also can’t say hon or honey.
But, babe is safe and we both use it too much.
Now that you’re gone the offers have been rolling in.
I’ve been respectfully refusing, because I’m waiting for you
to come back so
we can fill in the blanks and make stupid meals together.
But that was 20 years ago
The pictures have changed,
and no one
in white tails
with a champagne flute.