Silence

I love this memory of you:
Head tilted, hand on hip
Other arm around my wife.
Easy, free, loved.

It doesn’t capture your voice
And that booming laugh of yours: Hearty, full, and lilting like a songbird
Through a megaphone.

I miss it.

You came to my wedding
And twirled my wife around.
I hugged your child
And we all made plans to visit each other.

I miss you.

You used to talk scripture
And In-N-Out
And how much you liked my wedding Barong
And goad me about the Dodgers.

I miss us.

They come for me
And I see you there, still.
Your mouth doesn’t move
And your eyes cast down.
Their hands grip firm,
Face so close, their breath mists into mine.
I’m being hauled away.
My wife, in that dress you said you loved
Has already been placed in the van.
We pull away from the home
Where we’d hosted you and your husband
On your trip back to California.
You’re there, like Lot’s wife
And I’m still waiting
As you shrink from view

For words that never come.
 

 View of border wall from the Mexican side. 2016. Credit: AJ Joven

View of border wall from the Mexican side. 2016. Credit: AJ Joven