Parallax                                                                                                               —Ben Rutherfurd

You know the way the star you look straight at
shines less than what’s around it? Happiness

has that failure. My father, for example,
propping up his telescope in the dark

backyard. If he sees his own pleasure at work,
the way we do, it’ll be diminished. I mean

once it’s been acknowledged, how it leaves
directly regarded. Of all, best to be

acknowledged by another, to be the propping
of the telescope itself. The barely lit

tip of a cigar, firefly from here, articulates
a gesture we can’t see. The star metaphor

only so long, but following any metaphor too
deep is dangerous. Eventually, you have to accept

objects as themselves alone. Like happiness,
metaphor is true so long as you just glance,

thus my duty to them both, thus mine to him,
as he steps inside to stub out his cigar, pour

himself a second beer, and slips back out
the door where he fades on the unlit lawn.

Ben Rutherfurd

Ben Rutherfurd is a PhD candidate in Poetry at the University of Georgia. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Spork, Territory, and Agape, and his reviews have appeared in the Volta.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2016