EVERY TIME I PASS THE ROOM IN MANHATTAN WHERE MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN
Terence Degnan

it gets me to wondering
if a violinist
while stringing her instrument

can hear a mourning note
when she's going through
the motions

it reminds me of the fact
that in any city of merit
there's usually a river

you can attach
to more than one generation
a place where children have swum

with their fathers' ghosts
I get this feeling
when my old man is laughing

that there's other tremors
just below the surface
a hiccup in the heartbeat

where the longer parts of stories
are told
I have this chair in the parlor

where a crocheted blanket
lounges like a ghost
where my body goes

after a clock has been beaten
to a pulp
it's the place where my daughter

sometimes falls asleep
after clicking her tongue along
with my irregular pulse

I have this feeling
that I should feel lucky
during the routines of any night

that cutting carrots
seven inches away from my wife
while she makes a broth

and hums along to the radio
are the closest moments
I have to prayers

I get this feeling that our reel
is simmering
above the surface of its double

sometimes I'm the body
and sometimes I'm the thing
caught inside






Terence Degnan has published two full-length books of poetry. He is a co-director at the Camperdown Organization which was created to increase access to publication and education as well as promote agency for underrepresented writers. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.



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