A 90's still.

His hair, deprived of grey,

face creased,

yet dressed in youth.

Sun still lingering on his skin,

cells buried in the leg of soil-


far away from

the clutches of autumn.

The one where he

seeks lengthening stems-

waits for the bloom to

unravel its body.


not his hands

against their chest.

Tenderness. Fragility.

Not his hands- a passage,


to greet death, mourning-

let alone decipher it.

Where he doesn't

hate or crushes flowers;

dewdrops easily fall on

his lashes;

Reclaimed, settled.

And warmth

from the steam veil

of Kahwa in his palms;

lip corners.


The 90's still-

where he stutters,


openly grieves for

the loss of his dead wife.

Cries for his mother's ADHD

or at the elegy

of his father's funeral.

The still-

where his fingers

don't crumble, and

the thumb doesn’t roll

into a fist.

The still-

where his manhood isn’t

dreary, dismal, or rigid-

isn't shamed

for spelling vulnerable.

The still

where he

finally comes alive.

Breaths, existence

still light-


doesn’t weigh heavy

or choke.

The one where his laughter

isn't skin deep,

creeps well in his dense bones,

nerves, crevices.

Flows through entire


The one where he finally smiles;

appears polished and precise.

Looks well finessed, fine-

all things loved right.

The one where resting buds

begin to sprout

in his nail edges, chest.

Where he hasn't aged,

hasn’t turned cold yet.

A still-life photograph of young winter as my father

N Sehar