for my grandson, Ian, 1995-2009
I dream walking a road, holding a dry branch,
whose bitter purple fruit I dread to swallow.
Those who brought me here work, stooping
to lift handfuls of wind and grapes,
loading boxes as a dust cloud boils over.
Entering a disturbed room, a stranger’s fingerprints
stain every touchable place—the bare sole of a foot,
underwear folded in the dresser, a pillow and blanket;
Grandmother, her thumb dripping holy water,
makes the sign of the cross on my forehead.
A doctor draws the sheet over a face I know,
snapping shut his black leather bag like a coffin lid
after a wake. I’m having trouble staying whole—
what leaks through my pores feels like soul.
|Copyright © 1999-2018 Juked|