Poem #3/30: "Daughter"

My father left no empire to conquer.

Is memory a kingdom? Even then, even so, mine is a minuscule capsule in the sky: far away and fading into the fog of California; bone soaked beneath the monsoon churning since I last saw his face - blurry through my hot tears - smiling a promise that fathers smile: benevolent, strong and kind; protective - like in my dreams.

My father left no kingdom to squander. I woke, mouth full of ash, flakes stinging my eyes, sticking lash by lash. Did these flames devour while I slept? Was I princess or handmaiden? I cannot remember 

My grandmother promises me sons; points to the upward curve of my pubic bone, taps it twice, says: "see?"

I am a daughter: made to make men. After the burn, I smolder alone. 

Where is my father now? Where is his secret castle of sons in the sky?

Grandmother tap taps the pubic bone, twice.


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