Size / / /

The boy will know tomorrows

understand yesterday, someday.

When will you teach me to fly?

He asked his father. That man

told his son, My father never taught me.

The father shattered like digital glass

and became his son's fantasy:

building parts of what a father should be

if the child fostered a man.

That same boy faced his son,

Were you close with your father?

The boy melted into a mouth,

My father crumbled and became

fragments. I buried him somewhere

in your closet. Can you rebuild my father?

The son drank his dad,

and forgot childhood.

His fragments demanded assembly.

Who are you? Asked the mouthpieces

inside the closet. It's me

father, replied the boy,

I failed to teach you how to fly,

he said, his pieces rattled

over the floor. The son began

a tradition as he discarded his father's

cubic bits, legoing a man

he hoped to call dad.

He crushed the rest with the bed's foot.

A powdered paternity refilled the glass.

Learn what you must, said the son,

So that what you will know can raise me.

He opened the window and released his father.

Nima Kian was born in Tehran, Iran, but left the country during the early years of the Iran-Iraq War. He spent his childhood in Germany where he witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union, after which he emigrated to Los Angeles just in time for the L.A. Riots.
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