he taught me how to make a military tuck
of the sheets and blankets; the way a quarter should bounce,
and when it did, the way he’d smile and clap my back. I lived for that.
I have always lived within the sound
of the Pennsylvania Railroad
which moans, then sings, and rides me at night
to the sound of my father’s voice
He came back grinning, gripping
a bag of homegrown Beefsteaks so fat
they were already bursting their juices
through the brown paper
There is no lasting happiness
in this world, only
particles of happiness,
transitory as a fragrance
or a falling leaf
Ghosts wear snow in the early morning hours and walk around like debutants at a ball. The wind lifts the hems of their long dresses and there is nothing beneath but a few dog tracks. How lonely it must be to be dead.
Based on a 150-word poem by Ron Koertge, “Negative Space” is a short animated film that depicts a father-and-son relationship through the art of packing a suitcase.
There I was with my father again alive
walking around the back yard together,
and I hardly noticed that it wasn’t our back yard
or that he looked like he was in his fifties.
Live every moment of your life
As if you are just born