An Introduction To My Father

We are all awash on a sea of blood and the least we can do is wave to each other

Steph, my love, here’s Dad snapped at sixteen on Broadway adrift in naval dress thousands of miles from home

Ten blocks north another Limey writes in a bar on 52nd Street We must love one another or die

We must love one another or die and he nearly did die the night he saw the periscope, minutes before the ship sank, another failure of love. We are all awash on a sea of blood, all flags.

I am awash in his blood He survived to sire me another son of the ocean where the organs bask like seals and show me his Wavy Navy cap and the Nessie periscope photo

Sweet Thames, flow softly while I sing my song Sweet Thames preserve us from the cold Atlantic run

The inland sea, incarnadine, connects the living and the dead Shades jostle on its shores

He might have been safe on a cliffed coast, secured by our love but he wasn’t. The sea is always with us, and he sank

Love roots in grief for the drowned who slipped out of sunlight

Shades crowd our hall loiter in the bedroom haunt memory, join us to the million generations

Take hands in the dark flesh, dust and breath Enough of waving

Dad, here’s Steph, my love

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