Lisa is the author of the sometimes girl, You Have A Lovely Heart, Clipped From Our Days, The Blondes Lay Content, Subtraction Flower and WinK. She's also the founder/editor of Contemporary American Voices. She lives in Arizona. Visit her official site.
© 2011 Lisa Zaran
I don't care where the spirit goes, whether
roused by death's frosty wind or born up
to experience heaven.
I don't want to hear about expiration
in marginal, whispered breaths by nurses
with gold crosses hanging from golden chains
around their necks. Yellow foxes.
I want my fathers voice, domesticated
in a tool shed, smell of oak and sharp enough
to pinch an ear, as he explains to me, his daughter,
the profundity of carpentry.
I want to see him scowl a raven's scowl,
where I shake with fright and scarcely feel the blood
as it drains from my head to my hands,
I want the life I believed he led, from indelible sea
to indelible sea, a wayfarer. A foreigner,
earmarked by his austerity, turn of phrase.
I want to hear him draw a breath, curse beneath it.
I want to see him drive a truck, filthy hands
thick with labor, grip the wheel, eyes like sea glass
watch the long gray iron road.
Forget death. Forget crawling out the spine of death,
glossily suspended, throbbing but heartless,
I only want my father's light strokes of love, a pat
on the head, a nod of approval,
which felt to me like a lifetime sky, full of angels.
I want one instant. One moment of cloudless intervention.
My father's face, chin cliff-ed in 5 o'clock shadow,
loose filaments of salt and pepper feathery hair
that I, his daddy's-girl daughter, could tuck
behind an ear. Forget the horizontal twilight
of loss, swelling with smacks across a bare cheek,
the dumb flesh retracting.
I want my father back.
At the tail end of my street
stands a cul de sac of credulous
people, whole armies. Some are kings
for their noses are hard and point toward prophecy.
Others are vagrants, only redeemable by the scent of damp wood.
I watch them through a crack in the blinds with intellectual speed, scarcely
breathing. Are these my companions? If I walk out to join them will I be stoned
or will I walk into choice, each man woman and child ready to greet me with open arms.
All work is property of Lisa Zaran.
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