Daddy’s face was our Central Park
We ran on the banks of his mouth
We sledded on the hill of his nose
We made faces at ourselves in the ponds of his eyes
We jumped ropes behind his ears
We biked through his cheeks
and played hide and seek under his mustache
But when he shaved and nicked his skin
and cotton balls found a ground to hold
onto his face to stop the blood,
playtime was over:
Weariness slithered through our veins
and cold chills sifted through our marrows. Until
he took them off
lumped them in his hand
and pretended to gobble them down—white fluffs tinged with red
We laughed, cautiously then:
Mighty God musing with cotton candies.
I see my father’s face spread on Central Park’s sprouting grass
White tents like his cotton balls sprawled over the nicks to stop the blood
Green and navy logo printed on the sides, but no cotton candies in hands
NYC, beauty queen,
Where do we run?
What ropes do we jump?
What hills do we ride or sled?
Where do we hide?
and what do we seek?
NYC, beauty queen,
Skies foggy, streets mute. Hearts crouched where the moon was supposed to shine
But no. I say, no. You can’t
break at the edge of a disaster like a wave
Rise. Get up. Kick like the insolent you are
Make me laugh at my father’s cotton balls
Take them off his face so that I can play again
Kick. Rise. Rise. Stand up
Get up and dance, Gypsy that you are—golden anklets under the night stars.
Rana Bitar is a Syrian American physician, poet, and writer. She earned her Master’s in English and Creative Writing from SNHU. Her poetry and essays appeared in The Deadly Writers Patrol journal, DoveTales, Earthen Lamp Journal, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Magnolia Review, El Portal, Pacific REVIEW, Balck Coffe Review, The Phoenix, The Pharos, and The Charleston Anvil. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, A Loaf Of Bread: Unsolicited Press