First came marriage, and then the funeral.
My father was declared dead on scene,
or at the exact moment an eight-wheeler
disintegrated three thousand pounds
of metal, my daughter was born
before I could receive the news; a ten
minute window where decades
of frozen hourglass
sunk in rough waters.
I brought home a dreary bed of roses
with an excellent red, but I could only
think of wine and blood; in that order.
It wasn’t her fault, one hospital exchanged
for another, and as nurses bloomed
wildflowers along steep ridges & nomadic
goats looked over wayward barns
as eagles do freeways, it struck me
that my father was gone.
We lifted her high, and she began
mimicking passenger jets & torrential
rain brewed scents like hot tea;
all the flowers, all the flower petals
flew winds amidst winter chill.
& I believe for a moment
it’s for my father.
I’ll tell her stories of him when the dying sky
resembles greasy pork
and the blurry stars are complimented
by a tulip moon. I may be talking about God
for all she knows, or the Louvre, aisles
of great artists lost to fire.
There will come a day when we dip our fingers
in the allusive chamber of memories
& it may be odd that her birthday
will be preceded by a visit to a cemetery
an arduous hike to a tree that has survived
to bury its son
but like birdsong
she will know him by a love
neither of us knows where
Brandon Shane is an alum of California State University, Long Beach, where he majored in English. He’s pursuing an MFA while working as a writing instructor and substitute teacher. You can see his work in Acropolis Journal, Grim & Gilded, All Existing Magazine, Bitterleaf Books, Remington Review, Salmon Creek Journal, BarBar Literary Magazine, Discretionary Love, among others. Find him on Twitter @Ruishanewrites