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.