My Father Lives

In memorial of Balbir Singh Sodhi,
murdered September 15, 2001,
the victim of the first hate crime to result in death
after the World Trade Center attacks.

my father lives in new york's buildings
  which scrape the sky

and

my father lives in afghanistan's mountains
  which kiss the moon

and

my father lives in mesa, arizona desert plain
  which swallows the first sand
  storm/ bullet

yes my father
  Balbir Singh Sodhi yes

my father offers
  himself
  to strangers' babies
  he clinks/ clangs
  with each coin tossed
  into every collection
  plate of prayers
  to heal
  a sister's/ a brother's/ another's
wounds

and

my father wraps
  his love
  for every self/ every family/ every faith
  in each turban cloth pleat
  laid soft onto forehead
  across nape
  set back to forehead
  with patterned care
  like a thousand rows
  of careful lined
  sugar cane field

and

my father plants
  every continent's flag
  every nation's flag
  every people's flag
  on his accent tongue
  he waves the banner
  of humanity breaking borders
  with every
  stumble/ of speech
  contradiction/ of grammar
  hesitation/ of language

and

my father stretches/ lifts/ rises
  from every fiber
  of every muscle
  of every man
  who pumps gas or drives a taxi
  just so wheat and rice can melt
  in his child's stomach

and

my father lives/ my father lives/ my father lives
  in new york/ afghanistan/ mesa, arizona

  in the  guilty
    innocent
    terrorist
    civilian

  in the  leader
    follower
    persecutor
    persecuted

  in the  thunder
    lightning
    war
    peace

and  in my heartbeat
    your heartbeat
      our heartbeat

and   my father lives
  in my love
    your love
      our love

yes
my father Balbir Singh Sodhi
yes
my father
lives

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