Talking to My Father

by ShengYao Liu

Words could be a pebble,
a boulder, or a thing
that could be thrown
into some body of water

which could sometimes be
an ocean, whereas everything sinks
into an unrecallable place where
denial buries the words beside
treasure chests

which could sometimes be
a swamp, swarms of buzzing
flies and mosquitos all over
when the words are thrown,
they too drown in the swamp’s
suffocating mud

which could sometimes be
a torrent river with rocky river banks
so watch where the words are thrown:
if into the river, it could carry
the words to their destination
if onto the rocks, it could bounce
back and knock me to the ground

which could rarely be
a rippleless lake, calmly listening
until the words are thrown
and rippling when necessary,
ruminating when hoped,
and reflecting when nothing is
thrown.