a chair is not a house
and a house is not a home
Tucked under an overpass – a bedroom
with no walls. An Oriental rug divides highway soot and city
muck from what is claimed as home. In the center of the rug
a queen size bed with fitted sheets and a turned down comforter
revealing two dusty white pillows. Heads rest there
under thousands of pounds of concrete and steel trusting
that the weight of the world will not come crashing down.
Is love made there in that bed? Do the world's voyeurs
discover over and over the exposed room
its contents and nothingness on display:
yes, it is this simple. This too is a life worth sharing.
I consider my home; cookie cutter stability in a shaky market.
How would my life fit under a bridge? Would there be room
for the fridge, the racks of shoes, my second living room set?
Is the plasma TV enough? Its blank face reflecting our empty
arms and wayward dreams. Would he remember the lines?
better, for worse
Would that sealing kiss of vows hold our binding?
Would there still be two pillows on our queen size bed?
My Father as a Blooming Stem
~ For Mr. Zhu
On a rock near a quiet stream
in Guam he sits
the butt of his rifle to the earth
and leans his back to the wind
breathless in a cocoon of reeds.
Cloudy hands brace for the promise
of storms. Water collects in tear ducts
but do not break his dam. Every drop,
sacred salt, minerals kept in reserve.
The heart's tempo softens in a green light
of silence. A brief respite before dawn
and the sun's pull to rise.