Elegy for Mr. Spock
W. Todd Kaneko
The first time you died, your friends
searched the universe to bring you home
because it’s easy to abandon logic
for grief. My father died a year ago
and I’m still writing poems to bring him back
to me—the son of a man from outer space,
the alien child of an earthwoman—nothing
makes complete sense. On television
the phasers are set for stun because there’s
no such thing as death for major characters,
while on Earth, we offer our last goodbye
to the dead just once, and then we say it again
every day for the rest of our lives.
Say goodbye to moving images in mirrors,
in store windows, to the sky at night, to hope
for a glimpse of life out there in the stars.
Maybe my father is hovering outside
the window, hands held up in a weird salute
for a prosperous future because we search
the universe still for our dead, though we know
it’s illogical, though we know we are alone.
W. Todd Kaneko (@ToddKaneko) is the author of The Dead Wrestler Elegies (Curbside Splendor 2014) and co-author with Amorak Huey of Poetry: A Writers' Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury Academic 2018). His poems and prose can be seen in The Normal School, Superstition Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Diode, Monkeybicycle, and many other places. A Kundiman fellow, he is co-editor of Waxwing magazine and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he teaches at Grand Valley State University.