The Poet (On Being Folded in Half)

Jessica Cogar

“Rise and eat,” my father says, holding an open knife in his right hand. He could drown a star in its own light, standing in the kitchen donned in a jacket of familiar air. I hold a bird like a soft fruit, spread the feathers of her wing between the blades of my scissors. I feel her breath on the back of my finger. My father is holding the needle, sewing together the three parts of my shadow and cracking eggs onto the hot sidewalk. My car folds itself around a telephone pole. The restaurant doesn’t know he’s taking a break, taking his time folding handwritten directions to tow my car. The white billiard ball breaks the triangle and he’s skinning an apple with a pocket knife. “Who the fuck are you?” he asks me. The bird answers him, in a human voice: “I am your son.”