Poem About My Father Disguised as the End of the World



Poem About My Father Disguised as the End of the World


by Jason Irwin


Everyone knows this landscape is a façade:

propped up horizon of cork board and tin.

Curve of flesh. Lick of salt.

It’s all we can do to endure

the next few hours: gridlock on the drive home,

the unavoidable reckoning

of empty rooms. Who can say for certain

we are not descended from the stars?

When I was a boy I lay in bed

while my veins burned.  My father was an asteroid.

Some nights I caught sight of him crashing

through space.  Other times he was the whiskey

in my glass,  the voice crying “No.”

The almanac predicts a treacherous end.

There’ll be no more pleasantries, no more

high-speed streaming of your favorite natural disaster.

No V.I.P. value meals, or cream in your coffee.

So call down the gods if you want, the traffic police,

insurance men. They’re only smoke signals in the fog.

Hawkers on the midway. Nails bitten down.



Jason Irwin is the author of A Blister of Stars (Low Ghost, 2016), Watering the Dead (Pavement Saw Press, 2008), winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award, and the chapbooks Where You Are (Night Ballet Press, 2014), & Some Days It’s A Love Story (Slipstream Press, 2005). He has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. He lives in Pittsburgh.


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