Poem-16

 

Imagining Retreat – Joey Chin

10. You admit nothing, I deny everything.
You are a man.
I am just pretending.

9.
What were those drawings?
Is that your form of communication with me?
Or is that how you make
sense?

8.
Your pencil lines are precise but
scaled
to your terms,
I am lost in them.

7.
It was in the early 2000s.
Our concerns were parallel.
We were worried;
you about a promotion,
I about graduation,
both which happened.
Thereafter we became
parallel.

6.
Recently I told you the difference between
attention and actuality.
how it was idea of you I loved.
You said,
“It’s like masturbation. Geographically, emotionally removed.”

5.
Love is astringent.
To purify, you must first
hurt.

4.
I asked you about dreams.
You thought I meant desires.
I was refering to the REM kind.
I dreamt about you once,
you were going to be
a father.
I remember trying hard to stay awake for a long time
if dreams were going to betray me like this.

3.
We laughed,
but only I cried.

2.
I have not caught up with
the age you were when we met.
I am always behind,
the minute hand,
the ragged shadow.

1.
I want to know which of the above I can tell
without,
before you retreat.