Lauri Anderson Alford

more or less

 

fifteen years ago more or less
my father killed a man
on the road with his car
of course to him
it isn’t more or less
he knows the date the time
to the minute
the pattern on the man’s shirt
how blood on asphalt looks
only like water
lately he’s been repeating himself
calling to tell me the same things
over and over again
my grandmother has died
his sisters are bitches
there was bone in the ashes
I worry he might disappear
again as he did
fifteen years ago more or less
when the road took the man
more or less
after he died more or less
while my father watched
more or less or more
which is it I want to know
because a thing like that
can never be both
or else it is nothing
only more and never less
or less and never more
more road more black
more wet more night less
stars less sight more
fast more glass
less heart less breath
less hands on chest
more quiet more time
more nothing and always
more and more and more
and more less

Lauri Anderson Alford’s writing has appeared in Cincinnati Review, Greensboro Review, The Common, Willow Springs, Meridian, and elsewhere. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and sons. Visit her online at www.lauriandersonalford.com.