self-portrait in a glass
by Darius Antwan Stewart

outside these walls,
even the wind refuses to breathe.
surely, somewhere, there are
more important things happening,
like life being made
or taken away,
anything that is better
than my father and i,
in the living room,
staring at one another.
his eyes are the muddy river
i once sank myself knee-deep into,
as though life had been raked clean.
if we had both been boys,
we would not have been friends,
unless, perhaps,
we had played by the light
of a fading lamp.
finally, we rise from the couch,
and he wobbles,
i wobble.
we walk into the kitchen,
set two glasses on the table.
the sound of whiskey
cracking the ice is familiar music.
he swigs his down quickly,
fills another.
i wait for the ice to melt.
he finishes three before i
swallow mine down.
i rest the brim of the glass
against my nose
and see the crumpled face,
as though wavering at the bottom of a well,
and i wish to know:
who is this man? the father? the son?

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