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Andrés Cerpa

Andrés Cerpa’s poetry collection Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy is forthcoming from Alice James Books in January 2019. He lives in New York City.

By This Poet

1

Parkinson’s Disease: Autumn

When I woke for school the next day the sky was uniform & less than infinite        	
  with the confusion of autumn & my father
 
as he became distant with disease the way a boy falls beneath the ice,
  before the men that cannot save him—
 
the cold like a forever on his lips.
 
Soon, he was never up before us & we’d jump on the bed,
  wake up, wake up,
 
& my sister’s hair was still in curls then, & my favorite photograph still hung:
  my father’s back to us, leading a bicycle uphill.
 
At the top, the roads vanish & turn—
 
the leaves leant yellow in a frozen sprint of light, & there, the forward motion. 
 
The nights I laid in the crutch of my parents’ doorway & dreamt awake,
  listened like a field of snow,
 
I heard no answer. Then sleepless slept in my own arms beneath the window
  to the teacher’s blank & lull—
 
Mrs. Belmont’s lesson on Eden that year. Autumn: dusk:
 
  my bicycle beside me in the withered & yet-to-be leaves,
 
& my eyes closed fast beneath the mystery of migration, the flock’s rippled wake: