W. Todd Kaneko
I watch my father crawl
on the ceiling tonight, moving
like a bat in the stalactites, a wish
in the form of a man clinging
to the plaster. I watch someone
else’s father slither up the wall
and wrap his shadow around the light
fixture—then two more slip in
through the window dripping
starfire and gloaming.
Soon, there are so many of them
up there I can’t tell my father
apart from all those fathers cleaved
together so far out of reach.
I ask him to come back down
for a little while because
I am his son and I am afraid
he won’t be able to tell me
from all the other sons down here.
W. Todd Kaneko
is the author of the poetry books This is How the Bone Sings (Black Lawrence Press, 2020) and The Dead Wrestler Elegies, 2nd Edition (New Michigan Press, 2021). He is co-author with Amorak Huey of Poetry: A Writers’ Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), and Slash / Slash, winner of the 2020 Diode Editions Chapbook Contest. A Kundiman Fellow, he teaches at Grand Valley State University and lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Art by Barbara Martin
Acrylic, Neocolor II and pencil on paper
Barbara Martin is an award-winning artist who grew up on three continents and has lived in twelve states coast to coast. She currently lives outside Philadelphia. She earned an MBA, is a certified creativity coach and teaches the occasional art class. Her work is contemporary in style and leans toward the abstract and sometimes surreal or visionary. Descended from a line of story tellers and herbalists, her further inspiration comes from repressed dreams and the natural world. Find out more www.barbaramartinart.com.