Reminiscing After The Midterm

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

colored lavendar,

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

to splay.

look: we have such rockets for palms,

such a firecrackered spray

shooting shape

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

of pages

inside his thumbs.

how easily he commemorates

their breaking.

how slow he is

to shatter

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!


Leela Denver

Blog Editor


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