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The Father

Abortion won’t let you forget to diedifferent. A child’s perfect voice is nearbyas the sun to a bee on a clear glasswindow. Dads break inward. So does a glassholding flowers. No, the ghost of flowers—Hands are owned by each cry. In the pure hoursof the unfinished, breath is without eyes.The broad shoulders of the home, no surnamesometimes, are trained to balance this thick worldwhen their woman’s look levels them. Unfurlevery ache, and the father will be there,sobbing at a kitchen table. No airfor love, more mouths to feed in the next room—They die different, even when it’s too soon. [End Page 77]

Chris Slaughter

Chris Slaughter was born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, where he was a barber for over twenty years before joining the field of public education. He has received fellowships from Brooklyn Poets, Cave Canem, and North Country Institute for Writers of Color. Chris has an MFA in poetry from Hunter College and a B.A. in English from Medgar Evers College.