First Law of Thermodynamics

My son begins to notice other kids
have one home with two parents in it.

We are driving and he wants to know
why Daddy can’t live with us.

The oil tanker is all mirror.
It returns us stretched wide

to ourselves. I never wanted
to be moving forward in all

directions at once, but here
we are, inverted, the reverse

view centered within what lies ahead.
I tell him mommies and daddies

are better parents when they are happy.
That his parents are happier as friends.

But he is happier when we are all together.
California poppies freckle the medians,

mouths open, the way I once
swallowed California whole

from my small curb of youth.
He cannot know yet and I cannot

tell him that no energy is lost
when a family disbands and disorders.

His missing father and mother are road signs
for the everywhere he is and will be.

Because love is unaltered by mistake.
Not a drop is ever wasted.

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