There once was a time
when we only had 9 words
to communicate. 9 impulses
to decree doctrine. My dad
had me on the same payment
plan in regards to frequency,
9 words were uttered and
only 9 moods were altered.
Parents expect you to take
accountability for your actions
while they take none. I unmade
my bed and lied in it. The truth,
I was accepting of those 9 words
because I had even less to give.
Time is real frustrating. I keep
coming back to a place that makes
no sense. My beard makes me feel
more maternal. My father's hands
make me forget.
The winner of a performance grant from the Staten Island Council of the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Thomas Fucaloro has been on six national slam teams. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School and is a co-founding editor of Great Weather for Media and NYSAI press. He is an adjunct professor at Wagner College where he teaches world lit and advanced creative writing. He is a writing coordinator at the Harlem Children’s Zone and lives in Staten Island. His latest chapbook, There is Always Tomorrow was released in 2017 by Mad Gleam Press.