thought begins as small floral bowls : they hold greens—broccoli stalks,
chopped kale—against Chinese blue
very dark, with a greenish tint :
the way a
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so it came to me to carry the abandoned mattress to the attic a month dead my father waited hillside in the field surrounding his house I was glad to see him to remember when the fathers seemed generic related a class of things as uniform as trees are when you don’t know their names a stand of them across the field I want to say autumn aspens the late fathers blonde as early evening wind startles their eyes and makes of your name a sail a boat above roots that rise to stem that rise to leaf his door and cornices his felt hat and mattress empty it feels like forever above the flickering field the fathers shrinking far beneath our feet
for Lisa Fishman
Born in Alabama in 1974, Brian Teare is the author of several poetry collections, including The Room Where I Was Born (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), which was awarded both the Brittingham Prize and the 2004 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry.