FAMILY PORTRAIT THROUGH THE DEER MY DAD HIT AT SEVEN IN THE MORNING 

I imagined the moment to feel like a
          Sunday sermon, the air to taste like
stale October. I imagined an animal,

          honorable, in chintz-embroidered
somethings, with eyes closed and
          hands like my grandmother’s, a bouquet

of lilac hydrangea and crisp gypsophila,
          breath, entangling fingers into a breathless
prayer. I imagined a circle around a

          final consortium of our deer rejoining
hers, who met in their later twenties,
          who were bound together by fawn

with open mouths and closed hearts.
          I imagined a catered banquet to take
us back to a time when social halls

          had a purpose beyond this, when
hairspray was a drink and music
          swayed more than it sang. But, when

I arrived, her tongue was black, her
          eyes open, in her gaze a reflection—
a cloud, a storm ready to make fall,

          me—and her body cut in two.

 

A BIOGRAPHY THROUGH ALSTROEMERIA

my aunt used to have / lilies of the incas / in her living room, / potted in
terracotta. / her cats played this game / where they’d bat at them / &
then stare at me / unsuspectingly; / & I would play this game / where
I’d mist them with tears / caught in spray bottles. / but, now, the
whittled cuckoo emerges to coo us into an earlier hour, / & blooms
animate back / from felines / with an eye for horticulture.
//
understand, we all have a story, / & hers begins with / a bruised arm &
roots / in all the wrong places. / you ask, why does the clock / tick in
reverse?
/ well, it’s the easiest way / to amputate / a memory, / to hose
out a house when / u / are removed from it, / to go back / & wonder
how long it would take / to grow a sunset / from a packet of seeds.


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BENJAMIN ROZZI earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Washington & Jefferson College. His poetry appears in or is forthcoming from One Sentence PoemsformercactusMoonchild Magazine, and Memoir Mixtapes, among other venues. Benjamin is the Managing Editor for 1932 Quarterly, and has been chosen to be a future Guest Editor for Poets Resist! (Glass Poetry Press). He can be found on Twitter (@_benjaminrozzi).