Once my father, a real boy, stole
his ball home, burned ants
under glass, put his fist
through a window, cracked
his head in two against the steering column.
Once my father was boundless.
Balloons in his mouth, bare
bursting and bashful pink, lungs to climb
a universe. Then he was grey dust
willing itself to die.
Once my father was myself
years before I was utterance
on his tongue. Once my father, painted coyote,
on his shoulders, nourished me
grinned and tore
my silver voice from my throat.