My dad is dying, I say, after the call comes
when I have to tell my boss, my best
friend, more friends, the man who will fly
to be with me when his body is lowered
into the dark emptiness.
I say it, like a practice for letting
the light fracture, the roots uproot,
their gnarled moan enter where
I cannot find breath, hold silence,
where the phone line tightens,
truth too bare to be bribed, to be
cloaked, beribboned on the tongue
that tastes what was rationed — reconciliation,
time, love —
no… not love
because we want to believe we’ve given
enough and given well, that the unspoken
flows through blood.
When we break our promises, isn’t the pain
we carry a weighted love?
What’s created in the chasm but a ringing
of every tenderness we think
we don’t deserve?
My dad is dying, I say,
after the mind leaps, rupture
after the call comes in,
and revision, and the body staggers
into a dream of rampant thieves
and the heart keeps its beat
making the way
we will walk.