Jan/Feb 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 1 Poetry |

Portrait & Shadow

The curtains sail into the room with the memory of presence behind them while my father waits in the dark taking apart what is left of his former selves,    like a pianist, drunk at the keys, playing the same four notes, letting them ring in the pedals until they haul themselves back into sleep. He says, I am shadow & the thief at the seam of his spine slides through the blades of his shoulders,    hollows the blood, while the dopamine cheapens like a dollar-store lighter & suddenly, another streak in his Depends emerges    as proof. This too in Arcadia— the meadow in twilight's last streak of red before he enters the tree line, which is already waiting, its small footpaths like paintings held in storage,     their deep palettes so close they strangle to a labyrinth laced in an MRI black. The wolf there tears at his tendons, leaves him always in fog, & if he emerges it is only to watch but not to enter  

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