The Translucent Between

Smoothly & simply

hourglass sandlikeIdescend

grand elevatora marble lobby

  my rendezvous resorthaving penned my   wayto fortune

elevated in luxurious chattels   buried


thousands of kingdoms between my father &me his

abandonmentdisconnected phone tone

on the night of my birth

The golden lobby

lit like sunsqueezing into a freight tunneleyes rings

of Jupiter & thereheis

  under a crystal chandelier,in the worldI writehim out of

on a curved bench

my father& his family

in mid-century suits & gowns,

as if we belong together

my father

with a diamond-crowned penfrom a suit pocket

hismother/my grandmother

  a frail hand on arose gold cane,hissister/my aunt with a   bronze pearl-barrette

in a jet black airfrolike mine

her son/my cousin with apink belt &a sparkling smile

A grandeurpeering out of pale pink & white

sitting upright

holding hands,

a tribe

They rise like cathedrals

when they see me walking steady &stunnedthe pace of a bride

to themagnetic field

   called   familyas ifmy father   crawled out of the dooms of my poems

thisis what walking is for

to strideinto a father’s armsframed by the familyilluminating


I cannot help

but expandto a museum,so my father canfeel my art

feelmy shame

He coils himself around me likea windingwhite-goldbracelet   over the medallion

in the marble floorour imagerefracting

in a see-throughgrand pianoI drift deep inside hisorbit

untarnished love

A seraphic spasm

upon my bodyBut Desire,

pardon me,I lie awake now

the shamehe had to findme

inthis dream

Oak Morse lives in Houston, Texas, where he teaches creative writing and theatre and leads a youth poetry troop, the Phoenix Fire-Spitters. He was the winner of the 2017 Magpie Award for Poetry in Pulp Literature, a Finalist for the 2023 Honeybee Poetry Award and a Semi-Finalist for the 2020 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. A Warren Wilson MFA graduate, Oak has received Pushcart Prize nominations, fellowships from Brooklyn Poets, Twelve Literary Arts, Cave Canem’s Starshine and Clay as well as a Stars in the Classroom honor from the Houston Texans. His work appears in Black Warrior Review, Obsidian, Tupelo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Nimrod,, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, among others.