Failed Sonnet with Double Doors
There were many years I thought my father
would outlive me, my own death a carrot
God tied in front of my face. And I chased
after it, wanted it, knew its release meant
release at last. My father never knew how to
dress up properly for a funeral: his brown belt
wouldn’t match his shiny black shoes,
or his shirt would be misbuttoned—the empty
buttonhole smiling in the late afternoon air
before he walked through the double doors
at the front of the church. I can imagine him
standing there before his mirror earlier that day
adjusting his tie, first too long, then too short.
William Fargason is the author of Love Song to the Demon-Possessed Pigs of Gadara (University of Iowa Press, 2020), and the winner of the Iowa Poetry Award. His poetry has appeared in The Threepenny Review, New England Review, Barrow Street, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, The Cincinnati Review, 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 Tallahassee, Florida, where he serves as the poetry editor at Split Lip Magazine.