Fade Away

by Alan King

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.