Every Day, My Dad Forgets How He Died, So I Tell Him
lies to keep it fun.Something you ate. You sleptwrong and never woke up.You fell off the curbjust right. A piano fell.You drank too muchhelium and floated away.You slipped on a mall escalatorgoing up. It was like a bad jokefrom a movie, watching you falland the steps pulling youto keep on tumbling. We never movedyour body, people are stepping around youstill, on their way to buy giftsor just trying not to spill coffeeon themselves. Parents are using youas an object lessonfor their children.Most of the stores have closedand the few left have dwindlingbusiness, but every day peoplecome to look at the falling man.Some are just curious.Some are placing betson your age, your weight,whether you'll hit the bottom.Some brush past you every morningon their way to work, as iftouching you, feeling your death,means they'll be spared.But I can't go. I've seen youenough, bruised purple all over,all your clothes pinchedbetween the metal groovesand torn away, dyingin front of everyoneand leaving nothing for me.
Copyright © 2019 by Christopher David Hopkins
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Copper Nickel—the national literary journal housed at the University of Colorado Denver—was founded by poet Jake Adam York in 2002. When York died in 2012, the journal went on hiatus until its re-launch in 2014.
Work published in Copper Nickel has appeared in the Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and contributors to Copper Nickel have received numerous honors for their work.