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Nevermore May 20
I wonder,
If you were still alive
At 104 years old today,
If you would have been proud of me,
If you would have liked what you saw.

You knew me as the toddler
Who insistently took your hand
Before crossing the busy Chinatown street,

But not as the awkward teenager,
Anger simmering beneath his acne-riddled face,
Eager to prove his growth,
Trying too hard with his vitriolic rants,  

Neither as the young man
Floundering about in his twenties,
Dissipated on intoxicants,  
Groping about for direction,
Pining for a woman's companionship,

Nor as the married man
Who had attained independence,
Having found a way in life,
But now longing to regress to boyhood,
Sublimating his regrets in bad poetry
Scribbled between issuing memos and contracts.

Just what did you see in that toddler's future
As he waddled across the bumpy cement streets
Dappled with horse manure spilled from kalesas?

Did you see a man with broad shoulders,
Employing hundreds and feeding their families,
Making a tidy profit week after week?

Or perhaps an academician,
Erudite and eloquent, a debate juggernaut,
A far cry from his forefathers' humble beginnings
In some fishing village from Bumfuck, Nowhere, China?

Or did you just hope
For your grandson to retain his heart
The same one that prompted him
To take your hand as you crossed the street?

I still think of you at times
And wonder how things would have been
Had you been around,

If you would have bore our valley days
With your trademark stoicism,
Anchored father with your presence,
And have finally reined in
Grandmother's bladed tongue,

If we would have eventually shared
Your daily quart of brandy
After weathering with ascetic patience
The sound and fury of idiots.

How you would have seen
With your own eyes
The clan flourish and increase
In members, clout, and material wealth,

How you would have sat
Stone-faced but proud
As I took my steps to patriarchy
And started my own tribe,

Albeit with someone outside our race -
Worse yet, a descendant
Of our colonizers from the war.

(I wonder how much convincing
How much yelling from father
It would have taken
For you to relent)

I know I look back too much.
I guess there are too many unexplored paths,
Too many phantoms who remained acquaintances.

Or maybe I'm just like father,
Habitually framing the present
With the context of the past,
Always romanticizing the bygone
With the wine of sentiment,
Though reality would have been harder, drier,
And we needed the magic of romance
To make reminiscence palatable.

Thirty years have decayed my memory of you
To but a reconstructed charcoal sketch  

But it does not make me miss you any less.
May 20, 1916 - February 10, 1989
Happy birth anniversary.
Nevermore Feb 14
I don't need an occasion
To appreciate you
The things that you do
The way you are

How you
Wrap your arms around me from behind
Or
Leave a puddle of drool beside my pillow

How you prepare meal after meal for me
With love and care
Or how excitement blooms on your face
When I come home to you after work

How you speak with tenderness
And treat me with such patience
At times when I **** up
One too many times

I need no reason to say
That every day with you
Opens my eyes up
To things I couldn't even dream of before

To treat you extra special
On Valentines
Would be an insult to the other days of the year
When we have each other no less anyway
And love no less anyway

I did not treat you any differently today
Because I didn't need to.
Neither did you.
We always give each other 100%

So instead
Here's a 'just because' gift
Since you did want me to write more
A 'thank you' gift
For the years of bliss
I don't need a single gift from you
Your presence is already enough of a gift for me.
Unedited; to my sleepyhead geisha.
Nevermore Feb 3
I've said before
That should it take doomsday
For me to finally meet you
Then so be it.

Just less than a year later,
The end began.
Meet we did,
And end my world did.

You gave me a new life
And a new world
In exchange for my old ones.

Amidst the dystopia this decade ushered in,
Where, indeed,
Beasts spoke as learned men,
Deceiving millions,
The tyranny of the few was being celebrated
By the gullible vocal,
And a new plague festered in the horizon,

I experienced renewal,
Shedding my old self in daily increments,
While the world burned
And the sky rained ash.

Heresies burned on the lips of boys
While your name burned on mine;
Stars died out in clusters every new moon
As I was divested of my layers.

With every kiss, every meal,
Every word spoken in love,
You pave the way
For my steps towards
The Age To Come.
Nevermore Feb 2019
Drowning is unexpectedly silent
It starts small -
Tolerated aggressions and indulged obligations
That quickly pile up to the waist

Then you find
Seething contempt in intimate places
In the wake of harlotry and barrenness

Eventually
Dead tigers and molting snakes visit you
In the dead of night
And take you to ancient ziggurats
Seats of old powers and authorities

Watch after watch
The void whispers and beckons
Out on the balcony or beside busy roads

And you turn invisible in phrases
As greetings go unanswered
And cries remain muffled
You slowly destruct inwardly
Until you barely recognize yourself

When the water reaches your ears
The pull of the void is stronger than ever before.
Nevermore Nov 2018
Though the fire fades
And the lights dim
As is their wont
I will always give my very being
And climb into the altar
To kindle the flames
With my body
To usher in the new age
With my life
Time after time
Without fail
Until these bones
Are nothing but ash
And even so
My love for you
Will endure
As an ember
Undying.
To my geisha.
Nevermore Nov 2018
I used to lose myself
When I was with you
Mind chasing my pulse
Mouth talking up a storm
Judgement bogged by infatuation.

Now I lose myself
When you're not around
When our apartment is reduced
To the hum of the fan
Alone with thoughts that get bleaker each day.

And how I've lost myself indeed
These past weeks
Reduced to a mute apparition
Robbed of purpose
Bleeding colors
Sentenced to face alone
The echoing shadows of tomorrow
And whose remaining thought
Is the warm spring of your return.
To my geisha. Come home soon.
Nevermore Mar 2018
Stolen glances
Bronze sunsets
Feather touches
Sapphire dawns

Unspoken entreaties
Suppressed tears
Tender kisses
Furtive giggles

Moonlit midnights
Spilled beer
Breathless moments
Moist gropings

Crisp autumn
Tokyo sky
First snow
Auspicious meeting

Crowded Christmas
Bended knee
Diamond ring
Torrential felicitations

Seething traffic
Placid drive
Harmonized songs
Punny banter

Perilous storms
Locked hands
Whispered prayers
Renewed hope

Winter noon
Tearful vows
Golden rings
Joyous feasting
For my geisha.
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