Saeed, How Dare You Make Your Mother into a Prelude

And then, night neons itself inside me and I begin missing you in loud new ways:

The sky burns itself bright then bruises black. Things fall from the sky and those things might be water but could just as well be boys or bombs or billionaires or birds. Honestly, between your death and me, it doesn’t matter or I don’t know or I wasn’t looking or I couldn’t see because I’ve made a home out of how much I miss you and there’s no one here to tell me I should leave.

Alone and night-neoned, I write read drink drug grieve and all America keeps teaching me is that there are so many ways to die in America which, frankly, is qwhite confusing because this country killed you a decade ago and I’m still writing reading drinking drugging grieving binging binging blacking out in the cozy, claustrophobic home I’ve made out of how very, very much I miss you and the sky keeps throwing down consequences and corrections and histories and nations, I mean, come on, who can blame me for not wanting to go back outside? You? A whole decade ghosted, grounded and ground down into unreliable memories, dollar-word metaphors? No, not you, mother as mortar and pestle, mother as son mangling meaning out of his mother’s misfortune, mother as second draft: sorry, but it’s awfully true: you are prelude, and your progeny, loud and unrelenting in your epilogue, somehow has to live on as your last sentence, uncompleted.

Saeed Jones

Bonjour Vietnam