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Steven Breyak

Netflix and Chill

We used to know the best restaurants
and everybody in them. We knew every party
and everyone knew our names. Now we sit and watch
the newborn as if his crib were a TV
we can reach into and feel the warm pressure
of new stories grabbing hold. And just that
is so much bigger than anything until now. That me
before this is someone I know, I remember, but not me.

I expected to grow into this role. Instead a moment
ticked by and the software had changed. Every thought
is now a father’s thought. And this is just a tease
to what it must have been for you. Thread by thread
building in you, tearing through you while all
I could do was wait, absorbed in all I couldn’t do.
And now this little creature plugs into
you, feeds from you. Our lives’ spin-off.

Months later, while I video his first bites
of mashed banana, as you hold him in your arms
you’ll cry for this beginning, this end. When I ask,
looking through my screen, if you’re crying, I’ll hear
that I’m crying. We’ll laugh and cry. We’ll joke
about all the beer and coffee you’ll be drinking soon.
We’ll celebrate the life growing from us,
over us as we try to take it all in.

Steven Breyak lives with his wife and son in Osaka. There he teaches English at a high school and two universities. You can find more of his work here and elsewhere on the internet with a quick search. You can find another of his recent poems in Gargoyle #73. He makes a pretty mean gin tonic, too. Useful in these times.


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