We can so easily … find that we are trapped, as in a dream
and die there, without ever waking up – Rainer Maria Rilke
In a factory park on the outskirts
of Yantai, I used to walk around talking
to God: Father, who art in heaven.
And you, my earthly father, I used to
walk along Heavenly Mountain Road
with you, talking to the charcoal sky,
the windbreaks, the dark winter
tide. Like Rilke, I used to fear
I wasn’t really living, and on the night
of my first seizure, I knew I had to die
to bring you back, but I weary of waiting:
If you aren’t coming, I will take
your place at the kitchen counter, pick
paper jackets off your cloves of garlic.
I will slice onion under running
water and scoop out the seeds of baked
spaghetti squash. I will feed
your family in your stead.
I will feed your godforsaken children.
Cameron Morse taught and studied in China. Diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014, he is currently a third-year MFA candidate at UMKC and lives with his wife, Lili, and newborn son Theodore Ian in Blue Springs, Missouri. His first collection Fall Risk is published by Glass Lyre Press.