Phillip B. Williams

Question 1

When I write of my mother or father, I use the word djöfaðirullin because I constructed it from Demon, and they built me from their devils. But I worry it’s also because I haven’t got the strength to put them on the lines, and let them feel the ache of my collapsing ventricles bleed blue into their realities. I see them at
night, in the corner
of my room
counting their eggs
before they smash
the shells with their hammered fists. I still crawl back to memories of my djöfaðirullin burning the embers of my dreams at edge of the sjóndeildarhnífuringur – horizon on a knife’s edge – and hear them spit shrapnel into the collar of my school shirts. I still can’t bring myself to hurt them in words without that layer of protection. Do you cover your
tracks, Phillip? Do you
coat the past
in thick tar and hope
you can murder
your djöfaðirullin without having to twist the knife?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1
[PETRICHOR]

Isn’t the maggot the oldest form
of faith? How even Jesus could
not command it stop its cleansing
His wounds, so devoted? Didn’t
the flesh that was soft, had failed even Him,
fall softer into what would be
dust? And now my father’s grave.

My shadow across it performs love

which is nothing more than lying down
while a hard rain disarms the trees
of their autumnal leaves, blows around
the veined fire until one lands
on his headstone, a lamp. Yes,
I see him more clearly now,
as though for the first time.

– Phillip B. Williams