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The Days Between My Parents’ Affair and My Affair

by Nathan Kemp


I act so there is no use in a center. Right
way or right way, sink or sink. What I
need from you, I have no idea. Brushing
aside all moral advice, you call me the
professor, the professed. Professing your
love for me. Your name-calling implies
intellectual respect, but we’ve never
talked about an idea in our lives.


You were always older than me by seven
years. When you called me—the first
time in years—two weeks after I had my
first child, you told me you were looking
into your muteness.


Archaeologists are finding a large
number of hairs that used to be on your
head. I remember how good you looked
with your widow’s peak, your finally-
filled-out facial hair. You started to gray
in your forties & I remember your hair
looked like clouds. I would sprawl out
on the floor & call out the shapes I saw
on your head.

Nathan Kemp is a graduate student focusing in poetry at the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts. His work appears or is forthcoming in The Bakery, NAP, and Puerto del Sol. He is a poetry editor for Barn Owl Review and Rubbertop Review.

Lead image: “Lips”(image via Flickr user cuppycakelolz)