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Dear Mom,

Every year I try to write you this letter
There’s been at least 10 pages of paper but very little getting better

Every year there’s a search for Yahrzeit candles in neighborhoods with no Jewish stores like the entirety of Athens, GA.
So I buy the Catholic ones,
with saints you never learned about but who promise protection
and hint at the possibility of resurrection.

Because that’s what I really want.
To round a corner and find you nonchalant.
And catch up on the last 10 years like a high school reunion.
A decades worth of missed opportunities for communication.
The unification of our family
We’re all boys and no sanity.

10 years. You’ve missed so much.
Left me speculating you reaction
Inventing dialogue,
talking to ghosts
And outing your death to lovers
Always followed by the line, “it’s ok it’s been a long time”.

You missed meeting her and I broke her heart.
The next one left me in pieces and searching for your arms.

You missed Google becoming a verb
And Bluetooth, and the awkward years when you couldn’t tell
if somebody was talking on the phone
or making pleasantries with the voices inside their dome.

You missed 2 towers in September, 9 years of wars, and 8 years of Bush (Lucky)
before a president used hope as a message.

You went to a High School that was all white and I didn’t know that until after you died.

You missed my 20’s
You missed me becoming a man and the delicate dance that came with that shit can.

You missed the first time I thought I was beautiful.
I wanted to scream it from the roofs, I wanted to call and tell you.

You missed social networking
I wonder what you Facebook page would say
The last ten years, a broken binary code
You’re My Space page, Reba Mcentire on the upload

You missed the opportunity for me to explain “sexting” one day.
You missed the “freecreditreport.com” song
You missed lean pockets
You missed me graduating from college.,
You missed me using my degree to teach high school girls’ step aerobics.

You missed me brave in the face of blank space comma blank space comma blank space.
You missed the 5 stages of grief
my 4 year love affair with rugby,
the marshmallow awakening after 3 surgeries.

You missed the maternal need to dot, dot, dot
The calls from home, the road, etc etc.

You missed every season of top chef.
You missed gay couples walking in and out of city hall.
Michael Jackson died, and you missed his funeral.

But I’d like to imagine you there carrying one glove.
Wind blowing volume into your hair thinned by the cancer.
And I’m here on earth romancing the heavens
Hoping that 6 feet of dirt is the first step to forgetting
Because you wanted me to be a writer and I am.
I want to see you everyday but I cant.

So I’ve got a letter for each year.
I’ve got journals saved like pennies.
I’ve got the past rewritten and relived.
But no new memories.


from Heartstrings and Hamstrings, released January 22, 2013



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