Here’s another life story,
another reason to lie.
When I turned twelve
my father had me
lace my hands under
my head, on my back
beneath the mulberry tree,
& dropped branches lit
from a matchless canopy.
There was no catechism,
no warning, just fire
in the abrupt sky.
Wings flared, scoring
a vista reduced to
flash, fluted bone,
residue & shame.

Rodney Wittwer is the author of Gone & Gone (Red Hen Press, 2012), and has received fellowships from the Artist Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. His poems have appeared in journals such as Barrow Street, DIAGRAM, The Literary Review, Memorious, Mead, Pleiades and Ploughshares. He lives in W.Medford, MA, where he writes and works with his wife, a clothing designer.