My Father’s House
Before the war, he’d let himself be known.
Even children, especially children,
With their unquenchable curiosity
And how that innate part of them plays its game
With delight, would tire of the secrecies
That would finally haunt my father’s house
Like disordered spirits perambulating,
Now fixtures, no longer having to pretend
To belong. They are more at home than I am.
I see the shadows of my father. I see
His whispers, shapes, outlines. I see his stories.
But I’ve learned his stories are not his secrets.
He showed so much of nothing, so much nothing.
He gave me a place and a time, a timestamp,
Some comic dialogue and killer punchlines.
For a passing moment, it was magical.
It is, all of it, worthy of repeating.
But it is all bread and very little meat.
In his house, I am an interloper.
He is the subtle scent that breath leaves behind.
They are the lovers between husbands and wives.
Grasping at Air
Shoulders torn by the pride and folly of youth
curse the unreachable itch, which teases like
a child with his thumbs in his ears, rotating
his wagging fingers, daring you to catch him.
But children are easy to catch, so you make
sure you’re always a step behind and when,
inevitably, he makes a wrong turn
and runs into you, you grasp at air with a
big swoop of your young shoulders and let him go.
Now they are your first sign of aging. Now age
chases you and when she catches you, she
does not grasp at air but grabs you by the
shoulders, the knees, the back, the eyes, the skin,
and you know she is just scratching the surface.
Next, she will take the cells, the lungs, the heart,
the lust with no intention of letting go.
Then she begins to take away your humor
and all you care about keeping is your mind.
Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared on all seven continents in such literary magazines as The Satirist, The Pangolin Review, Roanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Bindweed Magazine, Antarctica Journal, Poetry Pacific, The Ghazal Page, Birmingham Arts Journal, Boomer Lit, Hobart, and vox poetica, among others. He resides in Broken Arrow, OK.