By Ian Cappelli
The sparrows sort of rejoice atop the giant stone
crosses. Nobody has a human-sized plastic iPhone
for a grave. I like to think that the sparrows
would enjoy that too.
Lichen is the combination
of moss and fungus, and also doesn’t really grow
so easily on plastic. It’s a product of symbiosis:
the moss part provides the food, the fungus part
consumes the moss part.
It would be satisfying if,
instead of any old tombstone, some gravedigger
is hired to hold up my name on a piece of printer
paper like I just flew in from Acapulco.
Only my plane never lands.
They’re plotting out
where the next coffin will live. Red beetles have
been timesharing in-and-around that area since
the snow melted – they better get a move on.
Someone finished planting the four orange flags.
The pastors are retro
fitting that spot for the
construction worker’s son with the last name of
“Graves” who died after he plunged into a pool of
molten sap – some especially rural kind of
suicide. An inscription would never tell you that.
ON ABSENT FATHERS
Of course, sometimes you just
want to grab him by the God
and drop him low // enough
to love you. I swore allegiance
to the raccoons // below
the Jersey house. I remember him, scant
in his bathtowel,
shooing off the raccoons
with an electrician’s stick.
I exhume his trash while wading
sewerspans. I might just be growing
// two heads. Dumpsterdiving, I find him
stooped at the syrupstrewn kitchen
island // with me, smallish, oblivious,
my lazyeye overlooking what was only
sometimes // ubiquitous,
his fingernails: (himhimhim)
deconsecrated. I can envision him
picking out a cereal box by its frieze.
These months he calls me up // to sell me
on Jesus. He is too interested
in somebody else’s son // but,
as he’d say, that’s life.
Ian Cappelli is an undergraduate student who serves as a co-managing editor for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Spires Literary Journal. He plans to get an MFA in Creative Writing as soon as he can. His work appears in the 2018 issue of Enizagam and he was a finalist for C&R Press‘ 2018 Winter Soup Bowl chapbook contest.