Voice low, father, you are
hurting aloud from the book of your life on this earth.
You are tearing out verses, pages,
reciting histories of mountains, waving
like oceans, gritting down teeth
at the sound of a needle as it enters your eye.
Always get the last word.
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The telephone, father, you heard its call, you blinked in red
pajamas. You groped for the nightstand. Knocked
things over. I’ve read your sunken chest.
Halfway to death is blindness. And fingertips,
shin bruises, and if your hands broke, father,
you could not stroke your wife’s hair nor mouth
and neither could a son’s beard
fill your palms. Psalm is an open, burning text
but please, dip only your thumbs in twilight. Talk
not of God’s white furnace, father, and the fires
we are left in. Don’t tell
a tale of a man erased
like scuff on a window.