My brain can barely fathom him at all.
After the usual kiss, he fades away.
But when I wake him he wants me to stay
so I do. He perks up in the dining hall,
among familiar faces at the shared table.
The food’s not bad. It’s a Community.
Some still work , drive, head for the city.
Others are swallowed by the lower level,
but temporarily, the rest can hope.
Upstairs, absence is noted. Shared chagrin
drops like a fork. You have to leave it there.
Waffles are eaten by the ones who dare.
The brains converse while spooning it all in.
Most would prefer to die in their sleep.
Most would prefer to die in their sleep,
not on the stage like tragic characters
whose deaths are written actions to rehearse
along with duels and kisses. To not weep
at the end’s end, or give death lines to say.
Still, some survive the moment of their fall.
Aglow, they re-enter for the curtain call
to die and die again, day after day,
until life intervenes with quiet carnage.
The show goes on, but this old play is done
at least for us. Our lead man has been cut.
He still has lines, but only speaks to one
at a time: a ghost. Fathers are like that
and for a while everything feels like a stage.
For a while everything feels like a stage:
a prism of quietness to penetrate
with the machinery of set and plot
and the iconic inadequacies of language.
The end is written first. The imagination
wanders as far away as possible
not to surprise us, but to make us real.
Every sea is actually an ocean
and all the oceans are just one big one.
Time is the act of passing over it
from one wave to another. His was mine.
Jewish law gives me one year to mourn
my wave. I measure it and make it fit.
I’ve been waiting all my life for this to happen.