Today's poem is by Nathan Hoks


Help, I'm a vortex, says the father
to the son who is weeping
behind the mud-covered windshield
as a stream of white cars flows by.
On the sidewalk a pigeon pauses
before crossing the pine's staggering shadow.
My, how you are useless, says
yellow to red, red pissing on daisies,
yellow clogging trash cans
in the back alley. The street lamp
can't wait to obliterate the shadows.
Water and sky move closer together.
Finches when I close my eyes.
Finches when changing light bulbs.
In the afternoon they sing underwater,
in the evening their songs are gusts,
throbbing voices: one finch
confuses itself with wind: it is nothing
but wings. Little Fucker,
close your eyes when you pray.
I am not your father, but authority
hereby forbids. The soybeans grow weak.
They cannot bear the weight of our sky.
We are watched by the big fish
in the aquarium. The harmonics
of moaning peel the skin away.

Copyright © 2007 Nathan Hoks All rights reserved
from Burnside Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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