When My Father Died

my mother built over me a worry
big as a hangar the concrete floors oceanic
but I mopped them every morning slick and lit
like sweat on a palm I do not remember
his hands and I will never
ask her if she remembers his hands

at night I would hear the steel walls
rasp the wind at night she would
unscrew all the light bulbs with her oven mitts
while we slept the closets yawned tendrils
of jet fuel and by 13 I was addicted
to plowing the clouds of my dreams
mute as a screaming airliner

when we talk now my voice is pitched
like the hydraulic whirr of the landing gear
unfolding she reminds me of how many teeth
our old dog had I compare my window view
of the underwing city to embers in a dying fire

when I tell her I am pretending to see
an astronaut above me his suit and umbilical
white as a hot filament she finally cries
and I beg her pardon

Warren Bromley-Vogel lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Some of his recent poems appeared in Willow Springs and Broadsided.
*Photo courtesy of Ian Sane.
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