William Fargason


Moses Ojo

Father’s Day

William Fargason

every year          a week before the day
I mail my father           a father’s day card
and every year          I lie          the fish he caught
was the length of his forearm          he hadn’t hit me

with a belt          the shirt I wore in bed
torn open          like a letter          fused back together
like a zipper          he was home every night
for dinner          when we prayed we prayed

to thank God for every calamity          he bestowed
upon our heads          I mean          my head
I told my father every lie          I could think of
because it’s only here          in the poem

I can stand up to him          it’s only here
in the poem          I can tell the truth

Against Legacy

If I’m walking on the beach
by myself, walking nowhere

in particular but one direction
away from the direction

I came, if I look behind me
and notice my footprints

like a trail of small moons,
the water will rush up

and smooth the shore,
and the farther I walk

the more is erased.

William Fargason is the author of Love Song to the Demon-Possessed Pigs of Gadara (University of Iowa Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2020 Florida Book Award in Poetry (Gold Medal). His poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Narrative, and elsewhere. He earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland and a PhD in poetry from Florida State University. He lives with himself in Sparks Glencoe, Maryland, where he serves as a poetry editor at Split Lip Magazine.