Joshua Williams’ hybrid poems open into the space between reader and page, asking us to hold very still, breathe softly, and turn the page. For lovers of modern haiku and its relatives; for readers who cannot turn away from a voice speaking its own, very particular, truth.
A LETTER TO MY FATHER Before the clearer memories of youth, the earliest impression of my life consists of you cutting a baby tooth out of my head with an old pocket knife. I squirmed beneath the pressure on my jaw, but I gave in as you began to cry. Was it the blood coating my lips you saw? Was it my fear I saw in your eye? Until you died, I figured you were mad. Instead, your heart breaking, the tears that came, had you mourning a life you never had, but now that you are gone, I harbor shame. When they lowered your casket into your grave, like you, I cried for all I could not save. hovering kite the patch of wildflowers over my father’s grave magnolia blooms— reading the same bills my father had