Photo by Ameen Fahmy on Unsplash

she’s all he needs to know


the miner’s eye shines

its breath of light

against those shades

he drew

in the morning


the child’s birth

& one tool

pulling her toward


w/o him

she/the woman/


behind curtains


light focuses on real things


way b/t the sky

& a flower’s bloom. who will know

her vision

if the sky does not touch him?

if the light does not reflect him?

if the tunnel walks behind him?

when he runs

the path splits

into desert

& forest. searching the tunnel

he crosses the makeshift map

of roses displayed

on the kiosk behind

the courtyard.

when he arrives

he sees the kiosk

the map

& the birth reflected

in the miner’s lamp.

when she turns, volumes of red

arch passion’s land and tunnels end

of light

& roses bloom


the threads move.

they move in increasing frequency

thru the tunnel.

the father waits

at the end of the tunnel.

If the father waits

in the beginning

or end

or forever

it does not matter if the father waits

or leaves

the child knows when the tunnel

ends. she is its arch & volume & sound

at the end of the tunnel

you will see a sign in bold

letters. in bold letters you will see

mother’s ending father’s

beginning breaking the pin

inside a telephone ring whose dreaming

number dreams the dreamer’s time of



the split happens when you don’t know

it happens

like the bloom of a rose

or the reality of skylight. just as

a split knows

to split


the tunnel opens to the beginning

of the book the child is now

reading. when the child sees

the rose bloom

the father comes home with a drink

in his hand & offers it to

the child.

the mother stands

behind the curtain

she does not know

the father

from before

the child sees the letters

on the father’s forehead

they tell her where he has been

all her life

before she wore

her mother’s skirt touching

the floor of

the world


if you see him

the father

will you let her know

the child

she wants to talk to him

about her life.

about anything that has happened.

it does not matter

what she will talk about.

even the most trivial things will do.

trivial things are the best,

she says,

give him that message.

she wants to tell him what she wore

to the prom last night.

last night she wore a silk skirt.

she wants to tell him that,

about her silk skirt.

he does not know about silk

or skirts.

or about the girl

how tall she is

the shape of her nose

the color of her eyes

the length of her arms

how big her feet are

what she looks like in a silk skirt

tell him

when the phone rings

that she’s his daughter

that’s all he needs to know

when the phone rings

you can answer

& tell him

she’s all he needs to know

Originally published in Longitudes At Daybreak by Sandra Squire Fluck. Available on Apple Books and Amazon Kindle.

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