my father had three faces and a boiling pan
where he hardened his sons
into men
before he fixed the roof
my father had three faces
and the head of a hammer
where he pounded
his sons into shape
my brothers were not him
at least the one
their stomachs growled for his eyes
they looked to me for salvation

i bear two men upon my back
one dark, trying to love his night
one light, mocking the moon
wishing son was not just passing ship in the night
but passing on shore, by light
my brothers yearn

twisted gazes see shadows
in the mirror
father reconfirming lies
that speak truths about the world
but these men are me
they are the two faces
i’ve also learned to carry

father i need
brothers i need
where are you?
speak to the duality
that burdens our mirrors
mother, i need your blackness
before rain distorts the images
i see in the lake of our familiar

– zaji

an experimental pastiche for audre lorde