Breakfast is a single tangerine
grown in the winter, he imagines it’s good and enough.
His wife puts some coffee on.
She’d be an aged thing now, were she real.
Shrewish shih tzu shakes off icy-handed pats now.
Shake, doggy, shake, doggy, shake off my love.
The dog, haughty, trundles off to sleep,
dreams of masters who use words like firmament.
He reminds himself that firmament is just
a fancy word for sky. He would use it, too,
the fancy word, were it not for the sink
being broken and cold-
cracked walls descending glacially upon him. A town
where you just sleep
at night, that’s him.
If he were to disappear,
he’d write a note: to all the royalty
I never did meet, my father and his father
gave me this name and this tangerine,
this leaky sink and sinking home,
gracefully aging nonexistent wife, a shih tzu
who does not accept my love.
I want you to know, beneath
this firmament, it is good and enough.
Evan Williams is a first year student at The University of Chicago; he cannot properly wind a hose, and frequently burns himself lighting candles.