a silent jubilee

hues of strewn light seep into his skin
they are his scattered companions. now comes the careful choral hymn,
a distant chiming like steel heralds, bellows-blown and taut
always and forever disappearing into the savage dark

engines fill the night air, motorik yet infantile
the children dance along the rafters, they bathe in stray light
infinity surrounds me like this endless nighttime sky
and i remember the moment i first saw my father cry


empathy is a bastard, fatherless and without ties
it builds bridges over canyons, makes each of us a child
its depth is measured in moments, filling up empty eyes
it spills over the edges at just the right time

its a melody, a lullaby, written in silence and with grace
but on that day, with tears on my father’s face,
Empathy abandoned me and left only Pity in its place


what am i afraid of? this foreign land breathes me in and each day renews my resolve. the tourist wants to peel back this sunburnt skin but my ancestors aim to atone me with alcohol.

so i’ll abide.
i’ll sip this mixture, knowing pity is a thirsty mistress, and wait for his tears to dry.


these neon dreams of our collective past play out on tv screens like wide-eyed whispered secrets.
there’s a silent jubilee i’m late attending, and i can’t let the darkness keep us.

(phu quoc, vietnam)

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About Eric Skelton