Man in the Shape of Someone’s Father

By | 13 March 2008

You were craving eclipse already, though
you didn't know it; and the son you'd lost
and found and lost again was a wound

you'd learnt to scab, but which festered
nonetheless, as shame will do. You were
master of how to blur a scene, water it down,

how to rearrange the pieces and drink away
the evenings, and in the mornings your
neighbours saw the joke, how the sun

was red as your eyes and the hills creased
as your shirt. Your workmates smelt
the poison sweating through your pores

but never said a word to your face.
And so at the end your son found you,
burned the body you'd long since ruined,

scattered the ashes into the sea, vowing
to start a new story, one with you not in it.

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