Argue When You’re Right

by Darius Atefat-Peckham


Dad tells me I talk too much, a constant
Chatter like a cluster of Florentine
Roads that have no apparent destination, no
Intersection where there are only four. Do you ever keep
Any thoughts to yourself?
 And why, why should I ground
These words in my head, these startled birds
Of song that so easily roll off the
Tongue? An image appears in my mind of a figure
Forcing a globe, fingernails scraping
Into a hole with its skeletal arm. Maybe I’m afraid
Of that kind of silence.

He tells me I argue even when I’m wrong
But I argue not only with him but
Myself. Like the time I stood in front
Of Great Grandpa’s grave juggling an apple
From his tree, one that he’d be happy to see
Although not ripe just yet. I wonder whether to
Place it on the mound of so much green. Maybe
I just wanted to be like the heroes in his
Stories, maybe I wanted to do it
So I could say I did but I didn’t. I took
The apple home, cut it and checked for worms
I took a bite and spit because
It was sour.

I swear, you would argue with me over the
Color of the sky
, he likes to say. But his ice-
Blue eyes aren’t like the sky, are they? The sky that we
Drive under, a sky of clouds that looks as if it has an
End if you let your eyes wander down to that point in the
Horizon. And the sky doesn’t shimmer in deep thought, in that
Space. That is real blue not the drawn in color behind
Winged clouds. And when I see a man, skin the color of
My eyes, brown, bumped by an impatient
Car to crumple to the ground, a cigarette falling from his
Breath, I lose that voice. And when he reaches out and
Seems to trip to his feet, stuffing the wet stub back in his mouth
To walk into a building I’m scared, I’m silent, I
Have no argument. The sky is not only blue.

 

Author Biography: Darius Atefat-Peckham lives in Huntington, West
Virginia and attends Huntington Middle School as an eighth grader. He
enjoys baseball, water-skiing, playing music, and most of all, writing. He
aspires to someday go to University of Iowa’s graduate writers workshop.

4 thoughts on “Argue When You’re Right

  1. This piece is astounding with its rich imagery bringing to life the mental process of figuring out the complexities of the speaker fits into his world.

    Like

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