Pissing with My Dad

PISSING WITH MY DAD
by Joseph Milford

My dad left his cigarette butts
Floating in the toilet, and I would
“Torpedo” them—piss as hard
As I could to shred them—

Spent tobacco leaves
And urine building
My cock-strength
And this was my memory.

I’d piss on anything later
In my twenties; I’d piss
Gasoline on burning napalm
And let the fire burn the ground

Back into me just to feel
My father—to feel what he felt.
The burning in the bathroom
By his bed, looking in the mirror

Throwing his ember into toilet
Bowl, thinking of his impending
Life of quitting smoking after a stroke.
He knew death was rust in his razors.

Still, when I piss in public urinals,
I think of homes I will never have
As the guitar and bass rattle the walls
And vibrate my feet under me.

My father did quit smoking;
I never stopped being pissed off.
I remember once we pissed together
Both of us—I was 5 or 6, and I followed him

Into the bathroom. He tossed
His cigarette into the toilet, and we both pissed on it
As it broke apart; I knew this was something—
Like how a father says goodbye or divorce

To himself, to you, to all, to me.
Being a man is not a rite of passage—
It’s discarding burning things unto the paths
Of those who need to learn how to burn.

Comment: This poem, for better or worse, came out of me in one pen to page moment. It has seen some editing, but I wanted to keep it close to the viscera it originated with. There is really no rite of passage here–I am sure there could be an huge Freudian analysis of this poem, but this is simply a memory I had fed through the tumultuous relationship of a father and son. Learning to burn becomes important in transformation, and this poem hopes to learn from a past that’s not quite understandable yet.

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One thought on “Pissing with My Dad

  1. I like this. I relate. You made me feel, then remember, many of the things from my dad, my childhood,, and you made me miss him. We’d pee in the shower together. He’d call it a pissing party. And I remember pissing on old butts in toilets like you. I remember my father’s couigh – and my own as I took up his old bad habits. Thank you. I will print this out and post it on my wall to remember – a water color (no pun intended) portrait of my papa. Randy

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