Love and Farewell

Very few people get
narcissism like my father
who if you cut up mice
into little pieces and regurgitated
them into his mouth
like the kingfisher
would sing afterward,
who for years has been dying
in a nameless room.
He sits in a chair
his eyes as carnivorous
as wasps. A window
looks out onto the porch
that extends into a yard
with an orange tree.
But he can’t imagine
the landscape ruined
beyond that, the air
waiting to be seen
for all its failures.
The orderlies see him
in the mirror and mistake it
for his twin. Theoretically,
it’s like being a swimmer
with your eyes closed. Because
he never sees himself,
this goes on daily
as the television shows
derbies and horses
and riders in costumes
with whips and helmets.
In the morning the orderlies
bring him his animal.
By the afternoon it lies
under the chair.
When his wife visits
he calls her Mother.
An artichoke appears
in the living room,
the hand on the door
like fire, marching
on the walls. At night
the orderlies take him
by the arm and slowly
walk him to the bedroom.
Surrounded by bronze bowls,
sleep in the next life
waits for him, like a child
playing with matches.

Read on . . .

Poems from OBIT” by Victoria Chang


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