Stafford Essentials Corduroy Jacket as a Non-Fungible Token

The coat can’t love you
the way your father did.
It’s not exactly clear how.
Corduroy lined in silk.
Two breast pockets.
Two interior pockets.
Your father hoarded napkins.
This much you can say.
It reveals something.
All your father’s annotations
have, to this point,
been disappointing,
his visitations ludic and oneiric.
One note in the margins of
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
says, Be a good inheritor
of tropes. If I had brothers,
they would’ve been turned into swans.

It’s nearing eighty today,
superfluous coat.
Imaginary hands around the shoulders,
the fabric of want.
You can almost picture them,
your father’s hands crumpling paper napkins
and shoving them deep into
a pocket near his heart.

Cal Freeman is the author of the books Fight Songs (Eyewear) and Poolside at the Dearborn Inn (R&R Press). His writing has appeared in many journals including Sugar House Review, The Oxford American, Image, Poet Lore, The Poetry Review, and Hippocampus. He is a recipient of the Devine Poetry Fellowship (judged by Terrance Hayes) and winner of Passages North’s Neutrino Prize. He teaches at Oakland University and serves as Writer-In-Residence with InsideOut Literary Arts Detroit. He is also music editor of The Museum of Americana: A Literary Review.

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