Brett Hetherington

Banner photos: Cornelia Kraft

Becoming our father

[Photo by Javier.]


(Written for and inspired by Matt)


Yes, I am now attracted to the mute certainty

Of arms as oars

The sunstroke back too and the smell of Bruts


When you stammered for the right words you found

(when every little nail starts to grow inwards

and every little injustice is anticipated)

The foreskin of intent


Now spider web veins on cheeks, ingenious angina

Those rubber band calves, gorilla nipples

And a chip butty as the remedy


Wearing your mother’s shoes to school

And later a stick and a wheel

You hid from him

But I never tried to hide from you

That to me would have been badly



We all remember that sticky billiard-table shame

Joins on the stairs and a dark glass around the ring


We have both stopped measuring the lid-fulls

On grim table nights when the teeth

Need picking long


I too

Am that other man

At the workplace with another greeting face


So your butter lives on bread, abatement of sadness

And the disregarded piano listens all night to the night

I see that painting you had is still hanging

The one with the landscape I used to run through

Every dinnertime


I recognize your temper, bent back

And sliced profile, sliced silence

The impulses of grabbing hands


From today’s hard-bellied words

Our identities are cast firm


So, this figure is figuring it out.