Against an unsettled skyline punctured
by flit & bird-shadow, song & plummet,

someone else’s history unfurls before
the ghost of my grandfather can wrap

his huge dead hands over my son’s not-yet-
dead eyes. Is this what it means to witness?

To confess? To forgive? Today, we’re struggling
less with conjugating the white half of his blood.

Sing. Song. Sung. Sorry. The sun once lit & now
nothing seems to light without match or malice.

These white winter branches scraping nightmares
against his bedroom window, say they are not

bone white, hand-me-down hostile white. Say
these crayons right, as in keep the tiny paper

boat of his body afloat, despite the storm.
Say unmapped doesn’t mean unmappable,

that the almond curve tapering his eyes into
points is a compass. Say we can follow them

like ley lines back to forgotten holy structures.
Sacrificial. Sacred. Scarred. Say the sins I carry

without hurt hurt him, that my dead will never be his
dead, that he will one day settle the sky

my people have burned, are burning. Grandpa,
here’s a word for you to roll around in your mouth

like tobacco. Say it’s bridge, this time. Thread. Song.
Light. Sorry. Sorry. Say together, son, we can see the world

writing itself from between his fat white fingers. A beginning. A prologue.
Say he can join us at the table now. Each bite begins, is beginning

Image: Photo by Юлия Михейкина, via Unsplash.