House of Endurance

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,
leaving pennies 
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, 


For minutes,/
I watch his heart: ventricles contracting,/
blood pumping – my other silent pulsing center

Before Another CT Scan

Think your lungs a forest cleared./
Your breath winged/
as if it had a better place to go

The Beauty of Music Doesn’t Have to Be Human

…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.