How my father did not say goodbye

I walked home one day at eight years old
to find, in the plot of Arizona desert where my house once stood, nothing
but my father planting one hundred cardinal flowers.  

No Dad, I said
they won’t grow here.
It’s too dry.

I know, he said
I know son.  

Then he knelt down
and kissed me on my forehead
and every flower awoke at once.
A river was flowing from their base.

Look son, look at the mountains.
Your mother is there. She is waiting for you.  

I turned to see her but saw only the mountains
being swallowed by the sun.
When I turned back
my father was shoulder deep in the river
descending as though walking on a staircase.
Just as the last inch of him submerged
the river dried up, and the flowers turned to ash.

In their place one hundred saguaros grew.
I cut down the smallest one, and drank from it.

DT McCrea (they/she) is a trans-anarchist poet. They love the NBA, know the lyrics to every Saintseneca song, and have a love hate relationship with philosophy. Her work can be found in Honey & Lime, Taco Bell Quarterly, Flypaper and others.

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