Nothing you’ve learned has taught you
how to bring back the dead

father so you can thank him
for the only inheritance

he could leave you—
dubious talent for stringing

words in every weather: twigs
dark as grief to rub together

in heartbreak, vowels shredded
for kindling or confetti; short-lived

brilliance to loft like soap
bubbles above a clothesline

before the wind breaks them open
and the sidewalk’s printed

with a line of Os, their ink
disappearing along the road

he used to walk with you,
mornings, to take you to school.


In response to Via Negativa: Secondary school.

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