A Marriage as Artifact

Tanner Lee

Now my father sleeps 1200 miles north in a single room 
in Salt Lake. Ziplock bags of bunched socks

as pillows. He’s wrapped in a moving blanket
to protect corners. He sleeps past noon with a Patriot’s cap

tilted over his face. A disassembled motorcycle with old parts
on the carpet. Search these scraps for heart-grease and blood. 

He wants touch. Hot breath. A sugar shack. His wife back.
Her peppered hair. The years of his sons. The papers signed. 

He wants back the gutted husk of a night alone 
with a coworker after six drinks

he told me the day I visited. 
His cracked cabinet filled with vitamins. 

T-pills and olive jars. An old bat against the back door.
Sermons on the fridge. Choose a life of light.

I know little of love’s dour look.

Tanner Lee lives in Ogden, Utah. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, West Trade Review, Weber: The Contemporary West, The Comstock Review, and Entropy Mag. Find him on twitter @heytannerlee

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