Fires of Unremarkable Nights                                                                          —Sean Rys

It is March in the city and tiny
flowers have sprung up
in corners of our lives we have not trampled,
the air thick with sweetness
like it's trying to hold
what a long winter has taken from us: our fathers
and our faith
that we will not become just another version
of them, better dressed
for our failures, tearing down houses they built
because there were no windows
with fire escapes, and many fires
were left burning
when they died and were born again
in the ashes of our looking back. What does it matter
if we are filled with only enough light to belong
in rare moments to that world
of burning?
of my body are many other bodies
unknown to me, other houses brought down
by the silences they each contain,
other kids wrapping the questions of their bodies in rope
           to be hung
up like ornaments, other fathers
alive on the lips
of their wives, who turn over
their hands one morning to find they are empty, the sky
is empty, the men and the women
they loved out somewhere they cannot see
with 75¢ seed packets
in their bellies and all of the world's dirt pulled over
their eyes like a window shade. I want to take myself out
to a restaurant I can't afford,
in a part of the city I'll never visit again,
and when the check comes I will stand up
so the ash in my pockets
spills out over all of their beautiful knives
and linens. I will take him like that. I will blow little tufts
          of my father
right up into the hanging lights
like they are kisses belonging to many children
in love, my weight and his lightness,
one final flight into the flashbulbs
and one final descent.

Sean Rys

Sean Rys lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he works as a Lecturer with the Writing Program at the University of Arizona. His work has previously appeared in journals such as DIAGRAM, Indiana Review, Devil's Lake, Cutbank, Hobart, Verse Daily, Salt Hill, and Whiskey Island, among others. 

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2016