Back to Issue Forty-Seven

Father as Circular Logic Puzzle



amnesia mothered me. my mother married a love-bomb.
bomb theory: twin fuses knotted like busted capillaries.
capillary action means i love you less than i love distance.
distant relatives plan your funeral; i google eulogy vs. elegy?
elegies? form-letter hagiographies will litter your facebook:
face it: the horizon hellbent into helix. i’m just a geneticist.
genetic means inescapable. my mother was a discount houdini.
houdini fathered me. in 1926, he died of chronic invisibility.
invisibility is a type of death. death seeps from my jugulars.
jugulars? i bloody-throat. hemodialysis-tubes tangle to knots.
knot theory: you knotted yourself into a noose named love.
love is amnesia. amnesia huddles between a memory & a muzzle
muzzle is a warning shot. to muzzle is a silencer. so what now?
now, my mother cosplays as shrapnel: self as sting-operation.
operation? i grip the scalper, huff chloroform: war paramedic
paramedics can’t save the body: your bondage, your conquest.
question: could you love me enough to leave and never return?
return flights aren’t cheap. the distance is never the absolution.
solution? try cartography. a terrain is a monument to its trauma.
trauma knotted me into an elegy named son. or was it a eulogy?
eulogy: you are still my son — your facebook DM, elegy of vanity.
vanity is a mirror. tell me. which self do you see in my wreckage?
wreckage fathered me. you bullseyed your casket, our infinite x:
x-chromosomes, ex-husband, ex-father, ex-son exiled to y-axis.
y-axis is vertical ascent is we’re liars, all pretending you zig-
zagged, bullshitted your way into heaven. but i resist amnesia.
amnesia mothered me. my mother married a love-bomb.

Christian Butterfield is an undergraduate writer from Bowling Green, Kentucky. In 2019, he was named the National Student Poet of the Southeast, and his work has since been published by North American Review, Kenyon Review, and COUNTERCLOCK. He attends Western Kentucky University, where he competes on WKU’s national championship Forensics Team. He absolutely adores you. Yes, you in particular.

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