about a boy

Sing in The Sunshine” by GJ Gillespie

about a boy
Michael Passafiume

If you had told me all
these years later I’d still be
writing about a boy
who had the power of invisibility
but never knew it because
everywhere he looked
he saw himself,
about a mother who said
You can move mountains,
just not any of the ones
I sit atop — and I sit atop
all of them
about a father whose eyes
spoke volumes, each volume
diamond-tipped &
cutting cutting cutting

If you had told me all
these years later daybreak
still heralded terrors
yet to come,
dusk seesawing between
purgatory & limbo
& the night, oh, the night
fattened with vacuous truths
& you believe them
all all all

If you had told me all
these years later that love
is a jewel thief
with broken fingers, sex between
existentially displaced souls
just a couple of FOR SALE signs
on a used car lot;
& neither shall you question
divorce, nor suicide, nor a daughter
whose name is no longer the one
you gave her & who shall never
know yours but I am not
bitter bitter bitter

If you had told me all
these years later: medication
is a broken-nosed boxer
speaking in tongues,
talk therapy one long conversation
had week after week in the same
car of the same train,
a train with no destination even though
the conductor keeps yelling
The next stop is…!,
& you listen so hard, words crashing
into deafening white noise until,
finally, all you’re thinking is
Oh, my god, will you please shut the fuck
up up up

If you had told me all
these years later about a boy
trapped inside a man,
trapped inside a boy,
still attempting to unravel
the mysteries of a universe that has been,
& will always be, unknowable,
I would have asked
Where were you you you?

Michael Passafiume’s poems have appeared in numerous publications. His
chapbook, “archipelagos,” is available from Blue Hour Press. He lives in
Brooklyn, NY and occasionally tweets from @passafiume.