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Failed Sonnet with Double Doors

      William Fargason

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.

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