When my father was a boy, he flew
on two wheels and roar, an Icarus
with a collar bone like a canary
and smooth tan skin. The seat must
have rumbled between his thighs,
the motor’s purr against his scrotum
a more dense and thorny pleasure
even than slipping forward and back
on the textured bathtub floor
until the water sloshed or pressing again
into the deflated couch cushions.
Nothing like my own early mornings
in chatrooms, tabs switched from bright
blue games at our kitchen desktop
to what would you do for me and
are you hard now from strangers.
Sometimes I was a hard man, though soft
was not the female term, I learned,
but never guessed wet would be correct.
Woman was easier, say yes and be naked
in my XXL t-shirt dress until my father
ambled in to fry bacon. I’d close the browser
and butter the toast. Twelve years old,
my father crested a hill and shot into the sky,
his brother met him there, a mash of flesh
and metal that left his jaw a tattered
wing after a spray of shot: feathers
of muscle and skin across his chin
and the nose a drooping neck
and closed gray eyelid. Being called a woman
for the first time is a memorable thing,
and so my father still recalls the smack
of laughter from down the stairs
when he shouted My face, my goddamned face!
into the oval mirror, light from a bare bulb
he flicked dark quick as a stitch.