A Vertical Nature

a handwriting connoisseur I
change how I write my a’s
nearly daily,
first sharp-topped, then circular, then
carefully penned like
the sure-handed arm of a type writer.

my father’s handwriting
slants uncomfortably to the left,
and i wanted to elbow it hard in
its tilted ribs,
forcing it into a clean vertical nature.
straighten up, I ordered

a Friday night spent in the
library reading Kant and
hating myself,
my handwriting starts to fall left-ward
as I scrawl caffeine-induced
thoughts onto pages of
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
I nudge my d’s twice with my elbows,
poke my f’s forcefully in between the ribs
trying to force them upright again

i’m sure my father
nudged his d’s and f’s
(although surely less forcefully),
but their backs broke and slid down the page,
bent under the
weight of margin revelations


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