She called me to pick her up, but by the time I drove to the block,/
three men in total pandemic suits were walking her out.
Some of y’all pray to God/
I pray to the yellow warblers/
and their frail whistling
Quietly, they concede,
at your feet.
Scatter my ashes in the ocean,
my father instructed,
I am surrounded by streets/
half dark, half lit, by high rises/
sheathed in metal and glass,
I watch his heart: ventricles contracting,/
blood pumping – my other silent pulsing center
Think your lungs a forest cleared./
Your breath winged/
as if it had a better place to go
…Any other day/
I might give up & swallow every sound/
I could utter. Not today…
At the end, my father took four,/
long, calm breaths and died.