Ian C. Williams


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Son of artificial fathers, I have
carved my name under dining room

tables, knowing I’ll feel it; the knuckles
I hardly notice anymore. I keep

waking in cold sweats with stinging cheekbones—
I hardly care anymore.


He hasn’t hit me, at least
I think his wrist might shatter—
fragile, like the filament inside
a light bulb. Like any new father, he
wants what he cannot have—assurance, a foothold.
At his age, what has been
taken away.


I hardly care anymore, but
hardly is still something and they can still
bury it under the trees,

where roots strangle and press
deeper, where nothing crops above
the surface.


Ian C. Williams is a poet often caught wearing coffee, drinking tweed, and confusing common verbs. His work is published or forthcoming in The Eunoia Review, Dirty Chai, and The Altar Collective, among others. He received the 2014 Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the NFSPS for his chapbook House of Bones. He lives with his wife in West Virginia, where he is working on a full-length project.