It hung from his neck in a kind and devastating way—
hidden under his shirt and apron, wait staff uniform
then blazer, when he finally found a good desk job.
Walking through the living room after work
he’d slowly loosen the knot of his tie, teasing it
with his fingers and unbuttoning that top button
every man must hate so much.
From there it took him only seconds
until the cotton trailed behind his back,
shirt fully undone, allowing me to notice
the tense drops of sweat which ran down from his armpits,
the stains forming delicate rings around his sleeves.
And when he sat down on the couch
to rest his head back, Adam’s apple
sharply gleaming, palms left open on his thighs––
I’d stare at that gold crucifix which sank so low,
our Jesus buried deep inside his chest hair,
closer to my father than I ever got
and claiming the best part.
“The Crucifix” first appeared in Harpur Palate, Volume 8.2, Winter 2009.