After Frank Stanford

where my father & I are eating omelets

& drinking coffee spreading grape jelly

too thin onto burnt toast we didn’t ask for

dirty windows with handprints obscure

the city the nameless faces the happy

& the sad he tells me when he was a kid

he’d trace the design of oblong shapes on tabletops

like this one & try to find

where the pattern repeated

I tell him I liked to breathe on glass

& mirrors & draw odd symbols in them because

when the fog faded they’d be hidden until

someone breathed there again & had to wait

for their face to reappear through its fading

so they could finish putting their makeup on

I hoped it made them wonder

He tells me the eggs here are good

but the coffee is weak I notice the booth seat

beside me is worn a bit so the foam blooms

from it like an ugly flower from a grave

or the fake smile from the cook who scrapes

the stovetop clean & wipes the dirt from his hands

on his apron & fills a bucket up

with water to mop when he leaves he walks out

with his boot soles wet & you can follow him

a trail of dark hexes repeating down

the street to the pond where they vanish

just a few boats with men in them

fishing putting hooks in worms

& sometimes their fingers.

(This poem is from my new chapbook Mixtape of the Unsaid. If you would like a copy you can find links to where one can be purchased on the post below.)