When I looked at him, a voice in my head said
This is your dad, he is speaking, you are on earth, this is your life
Phillip B. Williams
Maybe madness make my mouth mine?
Now, as we file in for our first journey
together, even this choice of fourteen floors
Having had their moment or, if luckier, the better part
of a day in the sun as proverbed, it was time to move on.
Or does fear, instructional
at last, clear a way
the workers at Tyson Meats come down with the virus we still
have a plan for protecting the owners from lawsuits.
A mayfly born at the break of dawn
Dies when the sun goes down.
A tortoise on an English lawn
Outlives his master’s son’s son’s son.
No one died, nor was ever going to die.
The trail gone cold, your voice
asleep in your throat,
She had to have shopped for the hose,
measured it, fit it with duct tape to
the pipe and run it through the back
covetous old knots on a string
still tied to my grandfather’s big toe in Shandong
It was getting late, and
you could feel the strain
of all the things that
hadn’t happened yet not happening
And then I see it: to be a hero is to be a child of a mother —
I admit it, my life, I was totally taken with you.
I went along, laughing and smiling, or sometimes on the verge of tears
mewing a downy
echo: every dead thing is in need of more
someone you know
is on the brink
of suicide, of murder,
is it also not
a national question?
I lunch alone on chunks of venison. The Black Death
feels distant, like you.
I covered his eyes with my lips, but he pushed me away (“there’s
no returning from there”)
He sings and speaks
with the voice of a priest, father, or devil.
I was up in God’s country, up on a mountain early
and, of course, I fell in love
Speech is the tree line of your easy chair—
The tipsy slurring of worlds
AWOL from fixed positions.
From the Review in 1949.
This is not death. It is the terrible
Suspension of life.
Carlos Andrés Gómez
Sometimes I search for the exact day
I stopped dreaming in the language
that sings my name.
But slowly we disciplined the mouth
Tamed it into movement
Surely for this reason death must announce itself
again and again in such sour language
We are the ghosts of who comes after us
The stones is dead the stones that were too big
For human beings to move the angel saw
The humans in their freedom killed them both
And pounded with their bloody fists on the splintering gates
Last month, my father fell again and I walked through him for the third time.