A Childless Father Speaks to Himself

            “Let us make man in our own image…”

The crates lie unclaimed inside us,
all our pages dark between their covers.

Our doors are silent. What words we lack
retreat from us with our missed lives.

We offer no fruit. We proffer no shade.
We are a merlin swift above and then away:

a temple where no god burned,
breeze on a hollow bronze idol.

[No Wrong Is Secret Even Without] Confession

Time is on the prowl
and the universe is nowhere near

sated: storm surge, meteor, black hole.
The bones of life splinter

and choke us. My grandparents
fed an orphan, who orphaned them

and me, his son — I, too, left them
at their door after overlooking

our last hug. A revolution
drowned them: I let myself believe

when you are going under
you swim first for yourself.

I was heating Campbell’s in a can
and counting Marlboros

when ripples of their deaths
got to me. They’d each

been dead for months.
I cried, yes, until I didn’t.

And then I didn’t.

Andres Rojas @OkAporia is the author of the chapbook Looking For What Isn’t There (Paper Nautilus Debut Series winner, 2019) and of the audio chapbook The Season of the Dead (EAT Poems, 2016). His poetry has been featured in the Best New Poets series and has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in, among others, AGNIBarrow Street, Colorado Review, Massachusetts Review, New England Review, and Poetry Northwest.

Banner Image — “Digital Transpositions from a 19th century map of Havana, (public domain)” by Robert Frede Kenter @frede_kenter.