Nick Flynn - Kafka

The cause of death seems to have been
starvation—his throat closed

& so he was no longer able to swallow. On his
deathbed he was editing The Hunger

Artist, which, perhaps ironically (perhaps
not), he’d begun working on before he was

felled. My father

will, the doctor tells me, also starve to death,
he also cannot swallow I have said no

to the feeding tube because I imagine that is
what I would want someone to say for me,

but really, how the fuck do I know? The fact

that I am the one who will pull the plug on him
& that I will pull it with one simple word

is in the realm of the unbearable, but
apparently

I will bear it. The doctor promises to make him
comfortable, which means

morphine... nowadays this is how the plug
is pulled. Afterward,

the money he buried under that tree,
the take from all his bank jobs, all of it

will come to me, if I can just get him to draw me
a map, if I can find the tree, if I can find

his shovel. And the house, the mansion he
grew up in, soon a lawyer will pass

a key across a walnut desk, but even this
lawyer will not be able to tell me where this

mansion is. And my father’s masterpieces, his
many novels, mine

now to publish—I don’t have to tell anyone
I didn’t write them, not a word.


from My Feelings: Poems by Nick Flynn (Graywolf Press, 2015)