Electric Chair

Mark Conway

Sirloin chugs toward my father’s heart
as he hums out in the garden,
seated on his easy chair,

rods throb

in the cataracts that guard his eyes;
he sits on the massed electrons
of this electric chair, an easy ride

through the atomic life

of objects; he too, animate
and whole, is pressed between the hours
like ivy in his flower book.

He rides his chair

as maple trees slide open into leaves,
he is total for the moment,
waiting for the camera flash to commit him

to the mortal, finally

tantamount to himself. Fused
to the cane chair
he whirs in the confines

of his orbit through the suburbs,

the sparrow can’t distinguish
man from chair,
my father, the centaur,

half-man / half-furniture—

his eyes fill with chlorophyll,
the green tea of spring
he drinks through failed black irises.

A blur at dusk, atoms shake him
in their mouth, he trembles through the dark
like a human hive.

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