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Elephants 5

by Chris Abani

It is not likely that my father and I will take a walk soon

and not just because he is dead.

But he did come back in a dream to cook

me a simple dish of beans with tomatoes

and, through the steam rising from my bowl,

he smiled as he cut me a slice of bread,

vanishing slowly with every saw.

The heart is like this sometimes.

It finds the hands of your dead father

and shaves away another layer

like a thick slab of warm bread.

Sometimes that, Tadeusz. Or sometimes this.

That the lines lead you out of the labyrinth.

That the Minotaur is your toy bear thrown casually

against a chair in the dark.

That rain will come.

That rain will come.

from SanctificumFind it in the library

Copyright 2010 Chris Abani
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Chris Abani Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.