Antelmo to His Daughter, Norma (1991-2009): poetry

Robin Myers


I will be like you.

I will be late.

I will be permeable, patient—
a paper lantern full of moths.

I will smooth my palms across
the bed sheet of my emergency.

I will be ancient.

My beauty will be wasted.

I will be bald, and thin, and yellow-skinned.
My veins will turn to black from blue.

Like you,
I will be born to swim,
and rail against the chore of sleep,
and skim the sea foam with my hands,
and skin my knees,
and beat my fists,
and wait.

Like you,
I will be born.

I will try to learn
to be your father,
and my own.

I will betray your mother.

I will remember
how to leave a room.

My laughter will outlive you.

I will forgive you.

I will not let you
tell me when.


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