William Fargason

My father calls. A thrush
in the tree. A branch

floating downstream

past the rocks and leaves.

I don’t answer. The bird

hops down to the edge

of the patio, tilts its head

like a lock opening.

My father expects

a normal relationship

despite being an abuser.

My abuser. Despite

being confronted.

The bird moves closer.

My heart is tired of being

its own stunt double.

The sky a pane

of broken glass. I hold

out a branch for the bird,

closer, then closer. I hear

water break on the rocks.

My head goes under.

My father stands on the shore,

hands in his pockets.

The water will always

arrive whole. 

William Fargason is the author of Velvet (Northwestern University Press, 2024) and Love Song to the Demon-Possessed Pigs of Gadara (University of Iowa Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2020 Florida Book Award in Poetry (Gold Medal). His poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Narrative, and elsewhere. He has an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland and a PhD in poetry from Florida State University. He lives with himself in College Park, Maryland.

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