Constant L. Williams

Life Speeds Up, Body Slows Down

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Your body has betrayed you—
you are not the same.

Bulbous. Bereaved. Swollen.
Scarred. The suit of my father.

Thick, your collar weighs upon your neck.
Used, your soft sleeves fade to burlap.

Every night in your exhausted dreams
cashmere stars are spit
from the gums of space, lawyers
burst from briefcases and beat
oxen with silken chains. You stare
into the sun with flat button eyes,
as cotton blossoms from your mouth
at the first sensation of warmth.
*

When once asked his favorite
memory of his own father:

He had just come home from work.
I could not have been older than four

or five. We were laughing as he chased me—
necktie and all—through an endless field,

he recalled, and then, gently,
I’d never seen him run before.

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