Our Father


Memories metastasize

Like Cain’s cancer

In the chromosomal cauldron

Of my hobbled, hallucinatory heart

I splash in the sacred swirl

Of the earth’s urgent birth

And pierce with implausible prayers

The ambient absence

Of my accursed creator

Who granted me this grievous gift

This clamorous childhood

Of dappled daylight

And dad-driven dread

The lilting luminescence

Of blessed, boisterous boys

And the arabesque anguish

Of a flailing father

A terse taskmaster

A wounded wolverine

An embittered enigma

A cracked chalice

Of searing sobriety

Teutonic tenderness

Savage silences

And lacerating love

I beheld this barbed beast

And still sense the sting

Of the shrapnel unleashed

By his sulfuric sun storms

I search for his smoldering shadow

In the ragged recesses

Of my murky marrow

To revive this rage

Is to scald a succession of sons

To forgive this fickle phantom

Is to redeem the wrath

Of the impotent parent

The mystifying mercury

Of the shepherd’s soul


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