father lake

by Jenny S., 17

I lost his head in side swept
trees, his sound the smallest year away—
green wind in the only forest left
to see his damp side.

We were split by some daffodil hairs
when he slept like a root. Drooled a lake
in the crook of his mouth. Here, the reflection
of his two-faced scales, scintillating blue.

Where he murmured a half-heart,
and a fish who grew on trees—
finely branched gills, curled intestine leaves—
before they emptied their limbs of themselves.

I rushed to clot the lake, laced it with silk
spooling from his lips. More and he might’ve sunk
his cheek—some translucent gravity.

I lifted his quaking head from the marsh,
poured water over eyelids. Then I heard his warning.
He said—Don’t take me—

Melt me in green inflection, neck and neck
with the plankton. Dissolve my dentures
to the crabs. Cull my tongue to the seaweed.
Slit my veins diffuse blue—

And so I did. No need to explain myself.
Carefully removed segments and hooks,
till what remained was nothing I know.

Palo Alto, California