Speaking of a situation in which we come
To doubt everything and almost everyone
Would come to doubt: how you ring your bell
And cycle through this filthy city so
Surprising with its poison, how your mother
Sits there politely waiting for someone
To say anything interesting: we discussed.

And we talked about how preservation is
Overtaking us, how few can make friends
Without any shared joy: this is the design
Of design, some cross between a plant and
A ghost (perhaps a burrito), an interview
With the father who wants nothing more
Than for his son to become a beggar.

She brought up how many bodies remain
Unsightly to the system and how unwilling
“They” are to find their tongues, to lose
Silence: memento mori going unheeded.

He changed accents, demanded no questioning
Of his country’s innocence: she only tweets
About anhedonia, national infantilization,
The world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant (Hiltl
In Zürich), the movements and movers many
When the direction is only one: away.

Youth or life’s last day, he begged: commit
To something, don’t forget the rapidly aging
Or the indifferent owl, treat some folks
Better: will you be the same age to regret
Not trying as you will if you try? When
Will the past never seem further away?
In the end, aren’t you always just going
Home, going to your father’s house?

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  1. sanberdooboy says:

    i’ve read the poem several times now and find that i keep learning with each reading. both the mother and father have such dignity. but they live in a situation that deprives them of their pride. i love that the mother waits politely “for someone/ to say anything interesting.” the father reveals in the last stanza his profound wisdom in the three questions that bring the poem to closure. these are wise people in a world which gives them little respect. i suspect that there are many people like these two.


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