by Kelan Nee

That year I dug so many holes that I couldn’t 

recognize my hands. I shoved rebar 

into the ledgy rock of earth with thick fingers. 

It was the good life. People smiled at my face. 

Fingers touched my arms and lingered. I often 

drank until I could not see, and woke to the sun 

filling my room like water. Those swimming 

mornings I rose and shoveled my feet into boots. 


At work the quiet men were afraid to look into my eyes. 

In the sweat of a day, my mind rested on dying. 

I only wanted to be my father. To be gone 

and hanging for someone to find. Always 

the furious quaking of leaves on branches returned 

me. I poured cement into holes. 

The sun would set and end the day. It was nothing, 


my job, only a small, daily, world. 

With the sun down, over a sink, I ran the hands 

at the end of my arms under warm water. 

Made sure they were clean, and would not 

dirty my dinner as they pulled it apart. 

As they placed it in my mouth.


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