—after Naked Man with Knife, by Jackson Pollock
Fathers always kill their sons, chop them into flailing
flesh, grave lives survived in pieces.
Sons always resurrect their fathers, the angles of those bodies
cutting into each other.
The sky is always red. The blade is always bright.
My father is Daedalus,
Odysseus, Adam, and Abraham. I have grown
as Icarus flower, Telemachus weed,
Cain grass, and Isaac ivy grown wild and burnished
in the evening sun.
In the country of men, I am a refugee, an immigrant
cut by borders and boundaries.
All trees die on this land, this land of summer and swelter,
fever and fervor. This time,
I soar naked into the sunlight, my wings slicing
open the muscles of my back,
feathers sharp and glinting in the light.
David B. Prather
David B. Prather is the author of We Were Birds (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2019), and his collection, Bending Light with Bare Hands, will be published by Fernwood Press. His work has appeared in many publications, including Prairie Schooner, Cutleaf, OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters, Sheila-Na-Gig, etc. He has worked as an English professor and as an editor, and he is currently a reader for Suburbia Journal.