My Father Sings Like a Crow

The New Yorker

My father is a lamp, a boy, is two fathers: his ownand a wolf father. Me, other kids, camp around his flame; night dissolves like snow on his skin.A whole life lives in each fist of my fatherthe way a burning city lives in a firefly’s gut. It’s there,a faint light cradling a chicken egg, clutching an axe, raising a newborn’s almost see-through body.There is an animal looking back and leaping forward inside him. My father carries a shadow speckledwith the soot of dawn, and drags a darker one.There is a boy there building everything, and he is free, and when he is lost he burns down a mountainor sings like a crow. But he is never lost.

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