HERE WE GO! National Poetry Writing Month Day 1 of 30

HUGGING JOSE
Jose is sixteen
his father is serving life in prison
for offing a cop
and the cancer has metastasized
in his mother
tombstones sprouting daily in her body
leaving a few months to tell her baby
goodbye

and I am there to tell him to read
but I feel stupid telling him to read
and I feel stupid telling him
to do anything besides anything
he needs to

he needs me
to hold him he says
with shattered-glass voice
like a baby in the arms
of a five second future

so we hug
and hold it
and hold it
until he was certain
I was there

and I am there
but then I feel crazy
I feel so crazy
so crazy
whispering
to Jose
to the angel the orphan the whipping boy
to sixteen-year-old Job in a jersey
that he will be okay

just to give myself enough strength
to let him go

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