Originally appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Poetry Quarterly
By: Blaike Marshall
I dreamt I crucified my father in the garage.
Galvanized flesh to oak, a nail for the bottle
of pills taken all at once. Another for the son
she decided to keep, the rest for the days
we don’t discuss. The twin beams
conjoined at the torso, taller than I would ever
remember him, sang psalms that flipped
the flow of the Nile; waters running
red as always, with blood or wine, outlining
the delta in his palms. The air felt like the coast
before the hurricane, or an air after streets
have burned. And if a veil was torn, I didn’t hear it.
Resting in the plunging lump of his narrow neck—
an apology to me or himself, something we have
never shared. Between his outstretched arms hung
an air that felt like the only air I would breathe
from there on, an air that was always his.
Blaike Marshall is a junior in his hometown at the College of Charleston, where he is majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. His work was selected for the 2015 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Editor’s List, nominated for Best Undergraduate Writing in Plain China, and also appears in Poetry Quarterly. He refuses to acknowledge and confront his possible narcolepsy.