8 | conor allen

february morning


Father, dry and large at 80,
sits with black coffee and eggs at the window,
watches a hummingbird dribble frost with its wingtips.

First night, he complained about no television. Second night, he cried for no television.
Third night, he talked about why he felt empty with no television; slow danced with a
lamp to Ray Charles records.

Father says to me: You were born a mistake.
What, father? You were born a mistake, and now your mother’s body is the soils’ meat.
He sneers dust, spits dust. Presses his bones against my waist and weeps.

In the air I taste pancakes and brushfire.
Two brothers across the road push a shopping cart into the river and laugh.

Father shifts and sips. Later, he will move to the hammock, resting in its dirt caked
fingers until the moon has washed out his hair with silver light.


conor allen
is a graduate of the creative writing program at California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. His work has appeared previously in New Delta Review, Beeswax, and Tulane Review.