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Brendan Lexicon

Angel, Lion,

Bird. Cluster

seizures. He splashes,


in baths, screams

near edges

of pools. Loves

the school bus. Hates

Grace cutting

his fingernails. Loves

and hates most

things. On some

spectrum. Shrieking angel, palsied

lion, intractable bird. Falls

in cracks between labels. My son. Nine years

old. Ma, hai, duh his own

language. Atonic drops. Intermittent.

He chases robins, flings

our clothes. Against chairs

pounds tennis

balls. Claws tabletops

for dishes, tosses

spoons, thumps his feet

to funk

beats, dunks

orange ball, body checks

the plastic hoop. Focal motor

misfires. Disco bird. Point guard

lion. Wrecking

angel. We clap

for simple

things. Guide him back

when he misses

the toilet, piss staining

his pants. Sit too

close, he moves

away. Sit far away,

he moves close. His sounds

fly by,

he lets out

a sad roar through grinding

teeth. Staring spells. Clonic shaking.

Night through skylights, our peaceful

time. Grace and I

on opposite couches. Flipping

channels. Backs

stiff. Pulsing

temples. Sleeping

through Mad

Men. True Blood.


to melted

coffee ice cream.

It’s not

that simple. To love

him so much. To hate

just some of it.

from SeizeFind more by Brian Komei Dempster at the library

Copyright © 2020 Brian Komei Dempster
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Brian Komei Dempster 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.