A Father’s Portrait in Styrofoam

Benjamin Garcia

From the poetry selection curated by Eduardo C. Corral

Spun of almost nothing
and yet we don’t know,
actually, if it will return,
like a father gone for milk,
to the nothing it still is.
That cliché won’t decay
or ripen. It makes a nice life
jacket, I’ll say that much.
Yeah, he made a nice life
out west, in Vegas, I’ve heard. If
Hidalgo means the son of something,
then I am the son of almost
That which gets gotten rid of
without going away.
In that respect, my father
is also like a cockroach.
If the desert can’t nuke him,
nothing will. He’s unchanged
since the Cretaceous. He’s insular,
disposable; he’s a man’s man.
In fact, he’s a manufactured
tumble-weed. He’s resistant
to decay, he’s stubborn, he’s
soft—he’s so soft a child’s hand
could crush his skull like a tulip.
But be careful, with that one, son,
I sense there’s a scorpion
trapped beneath a Dixie cup.