Years later, I see the man I ran away from,

his jaundiced skin, red eyes, the baldness and all the rest of him that disappears into the white hospital bed. I am no longer that child of 11 but I still fantasize about this moment: I go up to his respirator and finger the clear, plastic cord controlling the flow of air. I lean over and whisper, “I have come here for my childhood,” and bite a tiny hole into the plastic tubing. He makes a faint suckling noise. And that’s when it happens. I open the door and walk through.

Kimo Armitage draws upon the rich stories of his youth spent in Haleiwa, Hawaii, where he was raised by his maternal grandparents. He is the winner of the 2016 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award in poetry, administered by Poets & Writers. Armitage published his first novel, The Healers, with the University of Hawaii Press in April 2016.

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