Through it all I call myself
the Wise Son, though I notice
no one else does. I know death
is unknowable—silent, nondescript
as the crypt we’ll slip my mother in.

I know that crypt, helped the concrete
shape itself into the mausoleum
it wanted to become. I listened to Carlos
sing his Spanish love songs.
I knew every other word he sang,
drawing his float across
fresh poured crypt floors.

Tonight, across town from my father
alone in bed, battered by silence and space,
I’ll become the Drunk Son,
the son the blues birthed
who hates life as much as he loves his mother.
In the middle of a crowded bar words will tumble
one by one from my mouth like marbles
scattering across the perfectly polished floor,
clacking at random away from me,
babble, my mother tongue.