“Wherever You Are in Life, You’ll Always Have Tonight”

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These were the nights when gaps spotted in our time loop and father came back to us.

He’d travelled to stay for few days, playing house. Mother’s smiles reappeared and she’d dance under the moonlight.

At night I would see from a slit on the door slightly ajar, his eyes turning tender and kind, her complexion radiant.

I’d see them holding each other, her breasts upon his chest. He’d tell her places he’s afraid of, she’d tell him her dreams.

She’d say, “Wherever you are in life you’ll always have tonight.”

They’d look each other in the eyes and after a while she’d lead him but she’d be the only one who was dancing. She’d twirl to the ticking clock, she’d circle through time while he was drinking –one gulp after another, gazing intently at her –a much younger her, at their younger selves.

He’d hum her old letters he knew by heart with a voice barely heard.

Time would stop and in that second I’d know, wherever I am in life I’ll have them forever in my heart.

 

from “Drinking Games”, When I, My Own Daughter, 2019

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