after Rebecca McClanahan

Like a magician’s assistant entering a magic box, my father’s watch vanished inside a high school gym locker while I worked the lane, shooting hoops, for a moment becoming the ball players he admired, before the times we got along could be measured in minutes. I interrogated the open locks whose hooks rose into shrugs. Everything around me seemed to play keep-away. Years later and absence is still a bracelet of flesh worn under those replacements.

ALAN KING’s poems appear in Boxcar Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Indiana Review, RATTLE, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem fellow and VONA Alum, he’s been nominated for both a Best of the Net selection and Pushcart Prize. His first collection, Drift, will be published in 2012 by Willow Books.