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  • The Ethics of the Third Person
  • Nick Flynn (bio)

poetry, playground, children, fathers, lovers

I am the man in the play-ground, the cord of his earbuds

clenched in his teeth(bit in a horse's mouth)

so the mic's closer to hisvoice, so his lover

can hear him above the end-less screams. His daughter

(my daughter!)plays behind him, wild now on

the monkey bars. Every-thing is as it should

be. In a week he will travel toFlorida & his lover will meet him

there. Shehas heard his daughter grow

up—two, three, four

& she will even end up watchingher, when it turns out he has

no childcare in Florida—the two of them will build sandcastles

& collect shells while he works &

that night his daughter will give hima drawing, all of them—wife,

lover, daughter, him. [End Page 37]

Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn has worked as a ship's captain, an electrician, and as a case-worker with homeless adults. The poem herein is from his forthcoming book, I Will Destroy You (Graywolf, 2019). His work has been translated into fifteen languages.



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