William Evans


my wife is talking in the living room
and maybe the wood floors are worn

down with her sincerity, her
voice is bouncing off their laid backs

and maybe when she mentions her
grandmother, our daughter informs us

that Gigi is dead and of course she
is because this is the cost of us getting

old like white folks.
Gigi is dead though and the five year

old ain't sad but merely broadcasting
the necessary information, even when

the tears of Gigi well under my wife's
eyes and she says to our excited child

Yes, Gigi passed away, sugarplum
and plum returns, Does pass away

mean dead? of course, she is her
father's daughter and often

asks the questions that the living
can't answer, but my wife

loves the expiring world more than I, simply
nods to keep from dripping onto the floor

and I just stare at the girl, who can only be
my brightly stitched heart, wondering

how significant it is for her to shrug
at death when she hasn't seen it

like her father has. maybe I will spend
my chest empty trying to keep her

an obelisk, only for my passing to be
the thing that breaks her. maybe I miss

boys whose faces I can barely
remember. maybe my face was once a

different boy, untouched by razor and nightfall.
I kneel by this girl and the unmaking

of our delicate floors and ask her, Do you miss Gigi?
and she says, Yeah, the way I answer a new

sunlight by squinting at its existence, thankful
and wishing it was no longer my concern