Friday, July 28, 2006

Vanishing Act

Each bed with a child in it, or his wife,
his brain lined with sleeping bees,

my father is having to leave the house
with delicacy, easing the dead bolt open

in the dark. The house exhales him.
I'm thinking of a driving lay-up, of a girl

in homeroom, blue necklace, brown skin.
Transistor radio on my pillow, volume low.

I know some things, not enough. My eyes
are closed, I'm listening hard, that song

again, Knock down the old gray wall,
my father standing beside his car—gone,

key in his hand, snowflakes in his hair.
At dawn, an Indian head test pattern will stare

from the TV, the freezer will churn out
its automatic ice. On the windowsill

an iris in a vase will have taken
the last water into its cut stem. I will

notice it, how it is there, and had
stood there the whole time, that flower.

-- Chris Forhan


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