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One Year After My Dying Father and I Stop Speaking to Each Other Again

By Eugenia Leigh

Someone on the internet is mourning
her dad—that old goat—with a goldmine

of anecdotes. Scraps of fondness I scrape off
her tweet—his beef wellington, her frogs. I want

my frown-scored mouth loaded with her clean vocabulary
of love. The way she holds her father’s hand, no pinch

of humiliation. Like the time I saw a teenager
sitting on her father’s lap. How I couldn’t

take my eyes off the alarming purity of it.
How my mouth dried at the sight like I had been drinking

the wrong water all this time. When I pull
the ocherous leaves from my thirsty pothos, it is

too easy. No satisfactory rip. Too ready
to let go. I covet the reels of the lucky ones going on

about their dead. Everyone I have lost
I have lost before the end.



Listen as Eugenia Leigh reads this poem:
One Year After My Dying Father and I Stop Speaking to Each Other Again

Added: Monday, July 25, 2022  /  Used with permission.
Eugenia Leigh
Photo by Ted Ely

Eugenia Leigh is a Korean American poet and the author of Bianca (Four Way Books, 2023) and Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows (Four Way Books, 2014). Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications including The Nation, Ploughshares, Waxwing, and Poetry Northwest. The recipient of Poetry’s 2021 Bess Hokin Prize as well as fellowships and awards from Poets & Writers, Kundiman, and elsewhere, Eugenia received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and serves as a poetry editor at The Adroit Journal.

Other poems by this author