Recorded for Poem-a-Day January 30, 2019.
About this Poem 

“Here's a poem about a song my son used to sing about a star that someone counted on to find their way long ago—in English, the song speaks to light and maybe love and in French, the lyrics query commitment and when things might change.”
—Jordan Rice

Vanishment

He says I live far-far away as we build a robot
out of blocks. The heart's a dollar music box
 
he chose on his last birthday wringing every
handle for the song about a star. This year
 
a star ornament dashed all colors by an artist
the summer he was born. We hung it by
 
his window like the star he sings about at night.
 
It's not a star that fell inward long ago as its light
fled out. Every troubled night that first year
 
of his life I held him on my chest and called
his name into his sleep until he calmed
 
enough to watch the moon arc past the blinds
above us. Do you have two hearts
 
because you're a boy and a girl? You're a girl
but you're my dad and not and then he says
 
his mother’s partner’s name. Nothing changes
until it must I told myself when I lay down
 
on the surgeon’s table. Drowsy now he sings
again about the star which is a song about
 
a traveler grateful for the light to chart a course. 

Copyright © 2019 by Jordan Rice. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 30, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2019 by Jordan Rice. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 30, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Jordan Rice

Jordan Rice

Jordan Rice is the author of Constellarium (Orison Books, 2016), a finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Award.