Every first Tuesday in April my father strolls
into my head. He greets me with frost-bitten
flowers, granite in his lips and his hands
immediately shuffle the dates
Out with it, he says and like all the dead he waits
for the true-to-life months
of his absence.
I sigh. Spell out aloud to him my receding children
and hairline, my rust-proof job, the happy
tidings of my divorce, the soft
suicide of the photo albums.
My father nods, spreads a cold smile
through the room. I wait and see. Take his side. Count
our differences. But my father
keeps his memories on
like a coat.
From Night and Navel (2017); translated by Paul Vincent