Home > Poetry > Untitled 1975–86
Published: Sun Oct 15 2023
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
AGNI 98 Sexuality Family Violence
Untitled 1975–86

after Alvin Baltrop


My father is birdsong. A leather fortress. The saliva used to grease open my hyena’d backend. My father is not my father but a reenactment. A living ghost story. A bright yellow, the warmest color. A man ready with a gag and a whip. An unlucky horseshoe. A death sentence. An effigy of men that learn in the dark. My father is someone else’s




         actual father. A whale’s grave. A scatter of bones. The music’s coldest laugh. A goat’s anthem. My father is Daddy and Devil and Dancing and Damnation. The impossible beast. A closet of tailored dresses. My father is a hushed choir. Duct tape and a pipe bomb. A smoke-show faggot. Always burning. Always burning the city to the sky.

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jason b. crawford (they/he/she) is the author of Year of the Unicorn Kidz (Sundress Publications, 2022). Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, The Cincinnati Review, AGNI, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO Poetry, and elsewhere. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Lansing, Michigan, they hold an MFA in Poetry from The New School. (updated 10/2023)

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