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’ve come back here
I knew my way this time
and I come to you because
the others were taken and
you excite and upset me
your contrasting shadows and
your leather jacket
and painful ejaculation
you thrust forwards and I know
your 1/2 and 1/2 grey scaled neck
your new-born nose sprouting from
out of the blackness
two ghostly disks fall phantom
over your eyes your forehead
an unmarked page crisp and inviting
and just as intimidating
and your cheekbones
are perfect your lips
perfect your hand with
no distinction or detail is perfect
the light feels its way around your
cheeks and finds your ears
cowering crying and your white neck
my teeth in your white neck
your blue jeans have color and so do your
legs that I bow before intent
and all for Andy
and all for art and I know
and you know that this is real
your eyes for the first time
I see your eyes the way your
mother saw them and
the razor bumps on your neck
my teeth in your
porous and corrugated neck
the light unknowing and unintended
sweeps away the dark from your pupils
and shows me your pupils
you smoke striking
what this is
you are unattached
removed and bored
the bricks behind you crumbling
and raw show more
than your body tells me
lifeless and reactionless
and I paint you now like Andy
filmed you then but I see you
on my knees and I know
more than your mother knows
and I know more than
Andy knows but you know
less than all of us
you know what your wristwatch tells you
the unbiased light now
opens the floor in your hand
of dried valleys where the skin has
been folding for 24 years
and your forehead and cheek
bones perfect and saintly as the minutes
count down to seconds 16
15 a light flashes and white dots
replace you in my eyes
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.