So the midterm is nearing its end (to those of you still grueling through examinations: I’m sorry and best of luck!).
I’ve been strolling through old issues of Fortnight and came across this gem by the effervescent, Carlina Duan:
Point of Honor
my father cracks open pistachio nuts
with his teeth, each click of the shell a point of honor
to his lips, (salty mouth salutes the
crushing of things smaller than him,
and not his own).
tonight, we walk arm in arm by a pond.
he mentions the snow
unthawing, then casually,
smacks the word ‘arthritis’ hard
down the curve of his face. my father tells me he thinks
he has arthritis, my joints
bruise all the time, he says,
spreads open his
hands to burst forth veins
the air a thick dust snapped holy
in all the wrong dimming
of light. my father’s knuckles
unwind into husks before my eyes and i’m remembering
how his pinkies belong in the crooks
of pots and pianos,
how alone his hands must unroot
with no garden of fingers
look: we have such rockets for palms,
such a firecrackered spray
into fingers, the only sputter i know
is that of my father’s.
such unfizzing. such gentle fade
of the fuse,
my father will not go to his doctor,
he says these hands
will belong only to him
until they decide to elope.
i’m too burnt
to tell him otherwise,
he believes in dog-earing pages of books
until the covers unripen.
i am beginning to feel the splintering
inside his thumbs.
how easily he commemorates
how slow he is
on his own.
If you loved this poem as much as I did (and I mean, how can you not with “the air a thick dust snapped holy in all the wrong dimming of light”?!) then check out our Volume 3, Issue 2 of Fortnight.
Happy end of midterms and have a spooky Halloween!