Poem of the Week: Like Father by Jericho Brown

My father’s embrace is tighter
now that he knows
he is the only man in my life.
He whispers remember when and I love you
and holds my hand, hungry
for a discussion of Bible scriptures
over breakfast. We are like a cup of coffee
I won’t stop spilling.

My father’s embrace is firm and warm
now that he knows. He begs forgiveness
for anything he may have done to make me
turn
to abomination
as he watches my eggs, scrambled
soft. Yolk runs over the plate.
A rubber band binds
the unopened morning paper.

My father’s embrace tightens. Grits
stiffen. I hug back
like a little boy, gripping
to prove his handshake.
Daddy squeezes me close,
but I cannot feel his heartbeat
and he cannot feel mine
there is too much flesh between us,
two men in love.

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