Robert Carr

My Sister Washes Father

Brother, were you lost
in flight as your glass of red
spilled on his white rug?

He is dying on his couch
of bone, collapsed. Again,
you pour out good

intentions, catch autumn
sunlight in the leaded bowl
you hold. A swirl of wine

tearing as it settles. You count
legs inside the glass, having always
chosen the better part.

While you compose
eulogy, rehearse every
image, I clean the flaccid

genitals I didn’t want to see.
Your riddles tip
like an expensive vintage.

Nubs of rug as you daub
with a terry towel. Nothing
is clean. You are nothing.

Robert Carr is the author of Amaranth, published in 2016 by Indolent Books and The Unbuttoned Eye, a full-length 2019 collection from 3: A Taos Press. Among other publications, his poetry appears in the American Journal of Poetry, Bellevue Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, Massachusetts Review and Rattle. Robert is poetry editor with Indolent Books and an editor for the anthology Bodies and Scars, available through the Ghana Writes Literary Group in West Africa. Additional information can be found at

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