He Thinks He Is a Sailor
Your skin glows amber in the room
of the boy with hair that has remained untrimmed
for too many months and the speckled chin
with orange wisps like fireflies if fireflies
hid in dark bushes while the children were playing.
His bed is bigger than yours, like an ocean
you cannot understand the scope of because
nothing is blinking on the horizon. You
don’t know what to do with all the room.
He spreads his body out and you try to fill
the empty spaces because that’s what you’ve
always thought you should do with him.
When the both of you fall asleep, you curl into
one tangled mess of sheets and elbows.
You call this making continents, he calls it love.
The Pacific to the Atlantic
On my finger sits the ring my mother once surprised me with.
She told me that she bought it in San Francisco at an outdoor market.
I like to imagine she was watching the Pacific hold the coast
the same way she would hold my father later that night.
My father is a shore, my mother is an ocean,
when they are together you cannot tell where one ends
and the other begins. In this moment, the two of them
are in their hotel room, dancing to something younger.
Their lives are routine, are cyclical, are annual,
but sometimes we can only learn love through repetition.
Every year they hold each other the same way
because they do not know how to love unfamiliar.
My parents fall asleep the way they dance: together.
As they close their eyes, my father’s body slowly creeps
towards his ocean the way the California coast tiptoes away
from its brothers and sisters every year without fail.
When my parents come back from the Pacific,
which was only ever an unfamiliar Atlantic to them,
Mom shows me my present, slips it around my finger.
It feels warm, like a kiss from California,
but it also feels familiar,
like a parent holding their child.