If Alfred Is the Father


Alfred is not a reason for leaving so we’ll stay.
In the vast spaces of the heavens, things were different.
Now describe the first balloon that helped you to feel such an escape.
Write a short description of the earth.
Eventually the problem will not seem so large, but it might remain sad. Like a man
crying and peeing at the bus station. The man might be clutching his own arm to find
Nor can the answer be found at the drugstore although the woman in curlers
kneeling in aisle nine might indeed be his wife. Her tongue might actually be clicking.
Is it their daughter at the diner with the glow of the jukebox beneath her flirtatious
arm, her chest aflame with red cotton in the dripping summer night?
Now describe the moon hung in a basket with eggs and fireflies.
Nor is the answer clicking out of that cat-eyed trunk-of-a-woman among the
supplements. You can see her feet sink in when she finally rises, her daughter’s imagined
nudity by now creamy with freshly harvested imitation pearls.
And if this woman continues to rise, will that be an acknowledgement of the white
pastoral innocence of a lunar swoon or an unattached and slowly flashing celestial
embryo crossing the meadow where her life ought to be?
Now describe the balloon again.
Now the father.
Things were different then.
Now the balloon unattached to Alfred.
Now words in the balloon that don’t need anyone to hold them.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.