Young Featherhood

By Evan Hansen

Market forces of evening. I place the infant

in a vibrating chair purchased at Target.

Plush monkeys encircle her. A tinny song plays.

I tell her welcome to Monkey Island.

I tell her she is a baby dinosaur

And I am a paleontologist.

I sing to explain her gas and tiny

Sometimes flailing arms. When the hiccups get bad,

I say you have crickets in your belly

And you will stop hiccupping when you wish

all crickets to be truly free.

I tell the dollars in my wallet to shush her to sleep.

I whisper to these few, lonesome bills

I wish a better material existence for them

Next time around. I tell them they are each unique

Like snowflakes in some kind of molecular sense

Even though I don’t believe it’s true.

A large truck called Night is carrying us away, I say aloud,

Looking at the baby because money is just money.

She is asleep. I lay back and notice the ceiling

Is the flesh of an ancient animal that loved us.

Evan Hansen lives in Oakland, California. His work has appeared in such publications as the Burnside ReviewCimarron ReviewCortland ReviewJukedMaggy, et cetera.