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Life is cost, throwing good years after bad
Why make more of it, why shovel out bits of
Yourself to create a monument to all you haven’t done?

I have so many questions for my father
Do all ships rock like they are being tossed in waves?
Did you hold your breath when you land?
Are you not my father, Duke?
Shouldn’t I look into my face & see you
Winking back like the stars?

The seams of your waistcoat have snagged
On brush & cacti, leaving a trail
Of stories unwinding, voice swallowed.

If I planted my feet & called your name
Would a storm come churning through
The endless sky? Do spaceships sound
Like helicopters? Churning & sloped in hover?

Does it sound like a man afraid to say
His own name aloud
Afraid of what it will summon?



Lauren Parker is a writer and visual artist in Oakland, California. She has written for The Toast, The Racket, Xtra Magazine, Catapult, and Autostraddle. She’s the winner of the Summer of Love essay contest in The Daily Californian, the Vachel Lindsay poetry prize, and is the author of the forthcoming chapbook We Are Now the Thing in the Woods.
Current Issue
19 Feb 2024

That was Father—a storm in a drought, a comet in the night. Acting first, thinking later, carried on not by foresight, but on luck’s slippery feet. And so we were not as surprised as we should have been when, one warm night in our tenth year on the mountain, Father showed us the flying machine.
The first time I saw stone and Bone in ocean
This is it. This is the decision that keeps you up at night.
Wednesday: How to Navigate Our Universe by Mary Soon Lee 
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