Ways My Grandfather Says I Love You: A Duplex

Let me stop you right there—see how my love revolves around you?

This is the day of the bird, & I always bring birdsong on a warship.

            Hear the worship twittering in the eaves:

            Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

No, it’s time for all good men to come to the foot of the family.

Let the warriors come home unarmed.

            Let the worriers come home unharmed.

            May the lessons of the colonel not harden your heart.

May I lessen the kernel of doubt in your heart?

I learned my son was born across the prime meridian.

            Learn that my love is like the sun: primordial, quotidian.

            You were born from war, riots; your first cries were a protest.

You always wore my chin & nose as a birthright; don’t protest.

Stop right there, let my love absolve you.

OLIVER J. BROOKS is studying creative writing at Florida State University and is the current poetry editor of The Kudzu Review. His work has appeared in Antithesis Journal, Beyond Thought Journal, Cantilevers Journal of the Arts, and elsewhere. Find him at oliverbrooks.weebly.com or @OBrooksBooks on Twitter.