Coordinates for My Dad’s Ashes




I didn’t want to write


for you, for me,

because I might spell


Forgiveness, the same feeling—

or is it an action?—


Mom told me sunk

your clogged heart.


(You can already see

I’m not good at this.)


I needed to believe

you were God:


It’s a cakewalk to destroy

a monolith, your whiteness,


a penchant for the Orient,

the skinny boy who discovered


Luzon beauties

and never looked back.


Alternatively, I found



There was a blond man

(I think we have the same type)


who gave you a camera and said,

Remember me.


I glimpse your chests painted

with Mid-Atlantic scum,


I want to lick the photograph,

maybe I’ll understand why


you denied me this memory

and instead talked about


gay prison rape.

Call me the id


to your ego—it’s simple.

I still tell everyone


your conquest was denial,

a route forged in tropical storms


and the sweet taste

of mangoes.


You found an archipelago

while I found men


to replace you.

(Is my honesty


too sentimental?)

But I know I can’t


write around your body,

much like I can’t


throw away the scrap of paper

where I left you:


Latitude: 39.37

Longitude: -120.12













Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, mixed-race Filipinx, and neurodivergent poet from the American West. Their poetry most recently appears in The Fourth RiverGlassThin Air Online, and Tule Review, among other publications. They reside amid cowboys in the Nevada desert.