Can I convince
you I’ve been to the moon?
Tie together words—
bed sheets become rope
for a hasty back window escape.
I am an Astronaut. It’s true.
The tender craters fill your dreams
and my days like letters in a mailbox.
My words push past your eyes—
running rhinos, quick but clumsy,
like a life without vowels.
from Monks and Shepherds
About my dead father I don’t want to write. I want
to fall into a swamp. Even quicksand will do. Here,
here are my shoes. If only I knew how to use curse
words but they become unraveled in my mouth
whenever I feel willing to exploit their effect. A father
is there even when he’s not there. Does it matter
what took him away? Cancer. War. Aren’t they all theft?
On earth there is so little space left where we are truly free
to weep. I have not picked up my guitar in a while.
If alive would he steer me toward silence?
I shall take lessons from monks and shepherds
how to not need motion. The smooth stones
in the creek bed become smooth by force—
the demands of water. I will have to learn
more lullabies. I know only one
and I sing it over and over to my son.
Crystal Hadidian was born in Austin, Texas. While an undergraduate at
the University of California, Santa Barbara, she won the Ina Coolbrith
Memorial Prize in Poetry. Crystal currently resides in San Diego, where she
is both full time graduate student at San Diego State University and a full
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