gonegonegone

my father taught
me most everything
i know i didn’t have
to teach myself
people that knew us both
always said we were
exactly the same
just he was always nicer
which was probably true
because he was smart
enough to keep his
mouth firmly shut
while i have always
been an open sewer

he was brilliant
even addled on alcohol
whipsmart and fast
he dropped out of school
to support his family
teaching himself
how to repair machines
through intuition
before a broken condom
set him firther down
the path he never chose
which he accepted while
filling the emptiness
with cases of beer

as a kid
i could never fathom
why he drowned it all
but then i realized
he was afflicted with
the same agony as me
of feeling everything
so intensely that
it was the only way
he could maintain
that helpful smile
raised in an era where
men felt nothing
except the satisfaction
of a job well done
and all the softer emotions
were to be locked away

when i showed him
i could fix machines
that i got more
from him than a
devil may care smile
and quick wit
he bought me
a red ratcheting
screwdriver and i kept it
close at hand ever since
when he died it became
a totem against the
world and solid reminder
of my hero who had
given his everything
to everyone around him
with nary a complaint

he would have laughed
at my frantic dismay
trying to lighten
another one of my deep
dark depressions that
left me wrecked
and made it all okay
but he is deaddeaddead
and i carry on a legacy
of crushing emotions
filling my pockets
with well rounded stones
and walking out
into the beckoning waves

i cannot
compartmentalize
this sense of loss
like him dying again
and i am sure i am
overreacting but
goddamnit if it isn’t
nearly impossible
enough to be me
without the world’s
constant reminders
that i am nothing at all
but inherited scars
marring a supernova of
hyperbolic perception

and all i can see
is him looking at me
with teary eyes
as i walked past him
with my diploma in hand
and i wonder if that
was the only other time
besides when he gave me
my now stolen screwdriver
that he was proud of me
because the epic
chain of failures
that has followed doggedly
leaves me with only
three times threes times three
to keep me out of the dark

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