Back to Issue Six.

What It Means to Have My Father’s Eyes



My father’s bloodline was whittled into my wrists
while I tossed in the womb. Born to be
roots, to blossom, while my painted ghost wandered,
haunting the meadow and whispering to trees.

My father killed me young enough to live
both these lives, to have an azalea tongue
and flint veins. Any grasp struck sparks
rioting through my limbs, till my shadow vanished
and my breath singed the faces of steamy-eyed
men, as well as pastel darlings and their petal lips.

There is nothing to be afraid of. There is
nothing that cannot burn. This meadow
is the charred edge of old men’s maps
and the wraiths that grow here
are the wounds of flowers.

When I die, like my father, there is no change.

Just rosy oils flaking away, and blue petals
blooming somewhere in the woods.

Caleb Kaiser is an 18-year-old poet and artist from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. He is a freshman at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His poems have recently appeared in Petrichor Machine and PANK, and (most notably) he takes flowers very seriously.