Father had anvils for hands. Solid lead retinas. Fingers growing out of his throat. He stuck his buckshot tongue to a fir tree in the shady back acre of our property. Magpies still come by to shake the salt from it, use its shine to sharpen their little knives. Father could taste a storm from a mile away. He could strike sparks from ivy vines and set fire loose on the town like a pack of wild hogs. He drank whisky straight from the barrel of his rifle. He let his biggest voice undress atop the table and piss in everyone's drinks. He never married. He could bury anybody. They say he's still out there somewhere, stuffing his ears with hornets and cutting the bones from his feet.
Derek Annis is a neurodivergent poet from the Inland Northwest. He is the author of Neighborhood of Gray Houses (Lost Horse Press) and the associate director of Lynx House Press. Their poems have appeared in The Account, Colorado Review, Epiphany, The Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review Online, Poet Lore, Spillway, and Third Coast, among others.