Defiance I

It is defiance that raises me each morning,
To provide for mine with whatever talent
I can summon to my hands, without insurance, without benefits.
I am one of the American craftsmen, my life
Can end tomorrow and no one could weep.

It is Apollo who comes to dredge the earth,
The rebellious earth breathing fire at his arrival.
It is Apollo who hangs his freight of fire above us
Each day. It is the rebellious nature of my daughter
In her car seat commanding me, “fast and fast and fast.”

The son born to the Japanese hair-stylist was named Apolo, who raised him alone. The boy sprung up, wild and restless, strung his days together getting fucked up. He dreamt the idea of a speed-skater. His woke to his friends falling dead around him. The father stole his son away and abandoned him in a cabin in the great northern woods. The weight of snow taught the boy to shut up and listen to the thing thumping in his chest.

Apolo rose before each morning, and heading out to the frozen lake,
Lashed his skates to him. Imagine for me, please, the sound a man makes
Over broad ice, the friction of his life reduced to two lines of bright steel.
His breathing. Summoning whatever strength he has in his legs to push
Away from gravity, our earth’s death of inertia. The very air trembling
Around him, the indeterminate speed of his life, near frictionless
Over fast ice, vanishing, hundreds of miles away from the rest of us.