Imagine a big man, the kind you find
in the district of the upper hand
and you’ll know my father. You’ve met him
on the ghostline, walking into rooms before you,
taking stock. The taste of cigarettes,
his mouth in mine,
the smoke I peel off with my clothes
to find the shyness where my body waits
in photographs, in mirrors.
His bigness in the frame cropped close as hair,
more comfortable with cars and laughing women,
the camera breathing out the fuel of nicotine.
His maleness looked so good on him
I knew I couldn’t try it on myself.