Summer 1993 • Vol. XV No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1993 |

Thoreau

My father and I have no place to go. His wife will not let us in the house--- afraid of catching AIDS. She thinks sleeping with men is more than a sin, my father says, as we sit on the curb in front of someone else's house. Sixty-four years have made my father impotent. Silver roots, faded black dye mottling his hair make him look almost comical, as if his shame belonged to me. Last night we read Thoreau in a steakhouse down the road and wept: If a man does not keep pace with his companions, let him travel to the music that he hears, however measured or far away. The orchards are gone, his village near Shanghai bombed by the Japanese, the groves I had known in Almaden---apricot, walnut, peach and plum---hacked down.

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Timothy Liu’s next book, Luminous Debris: New & Selected Legerdemain (1992-2017), will be out next year. He lives in Manhattan and Woodstock, NY. www.timothyliu.net

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