Patrick Phillips
The Shoebox Hades

His little Lego

arms outstretched,


Aeneas stares

across the Styx,


watching his

clay father fade


into a cotton-ball’s

white mist.


What is there

to say? I love it.


I cup my son’s 

soft neck,


and peer with him

into its depths


until the teacher 

bellows Parents!—


which means it’s time

It’s time kiddo


for her to take

by his small wrist


the boy who clings

to me like death,


as if he knows:

it is no myth.

Found In Volume , No.
Read Issue
  • patrickphillips
Patrick Phillips
About the Author

Patrick Phillips is the author of Elegy for a Broken Machine  (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015). A recent Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellow in poetry, he is the author of two earlier collections, Boy and Chattahoochee, and translator of When We Leave Each Other: Selected Poems of Henrik Nordbrandt