And We Left Him There Like That by Ada Gold



the head still hurts
no matter how the nurses adjust pillows
or give aspirin for screaming

I shattered him.
I shattered father’s not unsteady 
breath or even an echo now

a body 
silenced, sliced, never returning.
we are too many questions to ask his bones.

because we can’t 
remember if he smelled more like paprika 
or orange juice
if he prayed 
with feet spaced far apart 
or close together

if he 
the ghosts a different name
his father who gambled
the torn up linoleum after the police came

and we can’t remember
how bad his hair frizzed when it was humid
and which body part he hated more
the soft sinew of his left arm or his entire right hand

how often he wore his one good shirt
a white button-down halfway faded to yellow
or how far his stomach went over his pants

or if his stomach hung
like a chandelier trying
to bring light to the rest of his body.

Ada Gold thinks she writes her best poems while riding the subway to work. She was born and currently lives in Brooklyn.