Dad,

you are alive and mostly well,
but over the past year,
i’ve written you countless eulogies.

and every time i’ve mourned,
i’ve made my eyes rivers of red.
you might think me a terrible person for this,
but i know the truth about humans, see.
in every intricately cruel thought i’ve had,
i know there is another because
i’ve never made the mistake of thinking
myself as an isolated, original being.

your first emergency room visit 2 years ago
left me in a frenzy.
your kind face, your kind hands, your kind heart.
none of it was recognizable as every contorted feature
rested in pain.

your second emergency room visit last week
had me in a calm state.
the nurse came in and walked away
with an endless supply of your blood.
your face still struck with the same pain it had endured once before,
your ridiculous, stupid self told her,
“thank you. thank you so much.
i appreciate you and your work.”
nurse, after nurse, after nurse.

i sat there for hours and had flashbacks of you.
you telling me i’ve had your heart since i was born.
you telling me it was as though flowers fell from my mouth when i spoke.
you telling me you used to wonder whether you would stay alive long enough to see me grow.
you telling me you that you don’t know why you love me as you do.

and now here you are
and here i am…
and i’m carrying the dagger of your death as if
it were an oxygen tank.
i tell myself it’s for security,
that i’ll be ready no matter what
because i’ve been preparing for this, oh yes.

but to tell you the truth, i know when God wills it to be so,
all i’ll be wishing is that you had been kind enough
to never let me go.

Last year i met you,
walking on a cloud of ice.
We looked, our hearts shook
and everything melted away.

Now we sway, away, together
in the fray.
Everyone’s face becoming
a shroud of grey.

fly away, my love
for there’s nothing left
on this dusty earth
but the gentle cooing
of those that never learned
of the sky above.

Someone once told me,
it seemed as though
i was looking right through them.

So i laughed and told them
there was an eyelash stuck
at the corner of their eye.

In glancing away,
I caught their relief
and smiled to myself.

Control is
The most exquisite,
Admirable and powerful thing,
But only when it is
Exercised upon
Oneself.

there is a flame inside me
that burns azure blue.
it’s been there for as long
as i can remember it, too.
you dump buckets of water on me,
but you don’t know where it is, do you?
please hear me, i am so sorry,
you deserve none of what i put you through.

easily unfixable

she tells me to go
to the doctor and talk to her
because the experts know best.

the doctor will ask, “where does it hurt?”
and i will say, “everywhere”
but she will be confused and ask for specifics.
i wouldn’t blame her.
treating that would be like throwing a dart at a body,
and treating the area skin met steel.

the doctor will ask, “where does it hurt?”
and i will point to my head and my heart.
she will nod in understanding and write a prescription
for over-the-counter medicine, thinking of her next patient.
i wouldn’t blame her then, either.
it is a difficult task, working for the greater good.

the doctor will ask, “where does it hurt?”
and i will smile and say, “nowhere. i’m just here for a check-up.”