Look at him, in this photograph on the bookshelf,
tucked behind a copy of Wuthering Heights,
his smile broad, shoulders wide,
fists grasp proud, a fishing pole.
His skin so tan, his face tanner,
he is a man of leisure on his bass boat.
A man of leisure who moonlights
as a working man five days a week.
There’s a romance to this picture, the way
there’s a romance to a poet writing, he is
so enrapt with his task
he doesn’t see you coming
from behind him with a camera.
When you look at this picture you see
a family man, a man who left his family.
You see a man of God, who didn’t believe
in God until he took his last breath.
There’s a romance to the thought, the way
there’s a romance between father and son,
a blistering, hot-tempered romance of
greek wrestling, idol worship, the race
to always be on top.
The brute nurturing; the coo of a fist.
In photographs you see our limbs encircled,
our bodies one conjoined embrace,
the struggle to deflect,
defend one ego from the other.
This used to drive mother crazy,
but she didn’t understand
this was our secret language.