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father

Bathers with a Turtle

Three nudes crudely drawn. One crouching, 

back turned, right hand feeding the turtle 

of the painting’s title; another sitting, as if in a chair,

head bowed, eyes downcast; and a central 

Last Supper

December 3, 2020

I cannot remember the last meal I shared with my father.
Only those long last nights slipping him what ice chips
he could still stomach and then swabbing his chapped lips
with a wetted pink sponge.

The Household Gods

December 3, 2020

Forgive me, 
I have smuggled them away
from my father’s house to this sodden pitch
in the middle of my life, their names 
asleep under my tongue. I have walked

Muster’s Puppets Presents

Claire was coming over with her boyfriend—her partner—and Joan was baking mince pies in preparation, though she couldn’t remember whether Claire liked mince pies. It was difficult to keep everything straight with four children who changed their [...]

Illustration by Chad Wys

Sporotrichosis

Standing in the lobby of the state-of-the-art LEED-certified Sidwell Friends Upper School, staring at a giant tile mosaic of the word stewardship, Curtis Apple was ready for some bullshit. 

Everything Splashes and Sinks

He lost his religion in church. Twelve years old and Nimi knew there was no God. His mother had left them by then, just like his father, though she had left for a better reason.

Tonsure

March 2, 2020

Forever you find

              your father
in other faces—

a balding head
              or beard enough
to send you following

<i>Mullus Surmuletus, The Striped Surmulet</i>. (Courtesy Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library, Digital Collections.)

The Grand Temptation

March 2, 2020

Maybe Cape Cod is fertile ground for existential transformation. Something about the metals in its sandy soil catalyzing metaphysical shifts—I don’t know. All I know is I had my entire worldview rearranged when I was visiting its shores.

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