Driving By

I knew alcohol soothes wounds and hurts the throat: it heals the soul as it burns.

Driving By
Originally written in 2018.

Daughter’s Voice:
Why do you spread false promises with your honey voice?
We, forgotten children and neglected wives, rejoice
When your car drives by our porch.
Headlights pierce through the night like a torch,
You didn’t stop, but we don’t try to object.
The moon eclipses footsteps we no longer expect.

Father’s Voice:
When my brothers were born, I joined my father’s project
To plant a willow tree, as he said “a sacred object”;
For hours I dug and smeared dirt around my eyes.
One day, father said, I will have shade should the need arise.
I learned to keep quiet about tears to not disappoint my folks,
Instead felt my sore muscles and kept the pain close.

Daughter’s Voice:
You don’t answer my calls, instead the screen displays empty hopes.
Looking for you, I found a willow and it whispered your oaths.
But my cries echoed, reflecting in an empty well:
Time dried out its water as if with a spell.
I know you’re there, but your words are meaningless sounds.
I was your shadow, but the sky grew covered with clouds.

Father’s Voice:
The ambulance left only a helmet on the road between two towns.
I wanted to scream, but wind kidnapped all the sounds
From my throat. My father was dead. I was alone, I and my brothers.
Driving to make money, from morning to dusk in the summers
I was the oldest, and we were orphans: my life was on pause.
But when I drove, I could taste the blood that flooded his jaws.

Daughter’s Voice:
When in a car, I feel the wind in my hair like when I was
A child on your backseat, sticking my neck out of open windows.
I watched as highways slithered through hills like the wrinkles
That slowly appeared around your knuckles;
Your cigarette smoke masked my mother’s words,
Anyone around you, she told me, never learns.

Father’s Voice:
I knew alcohol soothes wounds and hurts
the throat: it heals the soul as it burns.
I still have nightmares of gas stations bare,
Filled only with shadows and humid hot air,
Stripped of the wheels of my car.
My only remains are blood and my guitar

Daughter’s Voice:
We moved, but I would remember your words from afar,
No milk in my coffee, the cup and drink are
Just as you took them when I was young.
Confessions of love always lay wrong on my tongue,
How could they not when you never meant them?
One day you came by, but it was only a dream.

Father’s Voice:
I should have confessed that my soul was torn at the seams.
And told you of the pain and the ache that men
Aren’t supposed to show when they have
To take care of others. I thought I was above
Admitting defeat as a father. But I forgot to say hi,
If I call now, will you reply?