Everything, Again

by Vincent Hao

this is beautiful: the sky, waking in triples. my father,
over breakfast talking about the computer his team

will build. he talks with the corners of his jaw taking
life of their own, creasing & wiping off chardonnay

lips in unison. on the tv a man with a baseball bat
beats another to a scar. behind him the sky

is inverted, beset by violet clouds on a canvas of
clementine tint. my father switches the channel. on abc

the president smiles & believes in the state
of the union. there is so much blue in his eyes.

it takes me back to walking across a houston beach. something
beautiful, enrapturing about a glass-rimmed sea. I watch

the bottlenecks surfacing against the tide & the
sea turtles trapped by empathy— everything in

its right place. it takes me back to sitting on the old,
silhouette stained couch, the girl I love pressing me

into the cushion. we fall from the sky again. she likes
to laugh. when she leaves I watch her from the window,

& the glass contorts her body until she fades to a point.
at work I teach a boy to read. control & he jaws the c,

bites off the vowels. control, control, con-trol, &
I’ve learned to replay my body. position my finger at the

vernacular, leave the embrace at the tip of my tongue. the
boy scratches his ear, leaves his hand like a pencil

curling up his hair. later that night I can’t sleep. I walk
downstairs & the lights of passing cars flood through the window. when

they pass I see my shadow against the wall. it is naked &
bare. no, my father would say. it is just constructing itself again.