My Oldest Son

my oldest son stretches three and a half inches over
my graying head and looks
down on me
most of the time
because nearly sixteen is nearly knowing nearly everything
and I do not

at his birth he was named for a religion we’d abandon
a hospital called grace
a quickened pace towards finishing
some race outside of the time
allotted the
rounds and the lines

I never expected to be old by thirty five

when he turns sixteen I expect he’ll take the world
by storm and fury
with a softness of kindness up around the
eyes that mirror mine
I think he’ll
outdo me

When the world is ending he’s dancing in the kitchen
big furry slippers on fast moving feet
and he is laughing to lyrics
from Lil J Peep or Baby Meek
always just a little
over me

over my graying head and over my losing streak
in isolation he reminds me to reach and to
reach and shoves handfuls of
pancakes into his open mouth
sparkling eyes
a quick high five before
he goes back to his computer
his cyber friends
his new reality
when the world ends he’ll
be dancing in the kitchen
knocking down death’s door
bad rapping bad rhymes
reminding me to be alive
adding to my gray hairs
making sure every
moment is
still there

I never expected to be old by thirty five