I know it isn’t just time
that gives every relic

the look of diminishment—
From the depths of the closet,

I shake out the brown folds
of your coat, try to smooth

the creased lapels. They are
broad, of a cut and style

favored either in the decade
you came of age, or the year

you started your first job.
How do the sleeves look almost

like they were measured
for a child? Houndstooth

and stripe, musk of mothballed
skins. What will be said

of the wardrobe I’ll also leave
behind? Big bones, an appetite

for more that jostled with
the appetite for less? But this

I know: to don the garment, one side
is slipped on first, and then the other.


In response to Via Negativa: Father to the man.

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