O father, O hunter, bury me in the casket of your eye. Tonight I sleep against a pile of survey stakes in the glad tomb of a friend’s garage. Lover, rejoice with your shameless neighborhood, where all the front lawns are privatized and all the front doors are locked. When the sinkhole opens up in the middle of downtown, we will trespass in every parking lot and warehouse in sight. O hunter, I was wrong: I want my casket made of particleboard. Next to me, the survey stakes sleep well, their plastic flags the color of tangerines gone rotten. A small rain falters against windows barred with steel. It’s strange: before the day my brother drowned beneath the south harbor in Corpus Christi, I can’t remember anything. Now my fingerprints stain every stake in that pile, and all the front doors in the county stay locked.
Derek Graf's poems have been featured in The Journal, Portland Review, Passages North, Salt Hill, and elsewhere. He received his MFA from Oklahoma State University, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Kansas. He teaches in the English Department at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City.