131st

My Father

I think my father is living like it means
 eventually dying.

I think my father is on a boat 
with
 131 people on board and only 
130 life jackets.

I think my father screams
 like he is always the 131st. 


In the nights that glow

until we forget 
which country we are in

and the rest of us
 are sleeping
 and my father is awake,

sitting at the table,
 picking at pieces of bread,

my father 
is a man waiting.

My father grows the circles
 around his eyes

like he will look at them one day
 and wonder where all the years have gone.


He sits on his own and hums the tunes 
to songs he has forgotten the names of


and waits until the echoes of his voice grow like
 salt rings on the walls.

We are sleeping and 
he sits on his own,

my father. 


I think my father is alone.

I think my father 
wakes only to know he can sleep again 
and feel a quiet kind of nothing.


I think my father is holding on


I think my father closes his eyes in the early hours
 and sees nothing but rooms, empty except for
 instruments he cannot play

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131st