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Elegy for Mr. Spock by W. Todd Kaneko

Elegy for Mr. Spock

by 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.

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