It is in the sound of the apparatus, like gods,
they surround him, stare into the heart of him
and murmur a decision about him, that I feel
my disconnect from the prospect of his death.
I offer silent prayers to these unknown machines.
Every labored breath he takes, I promise another act
I will perform as penance, as payment, a stalling
of the ferry’s price, as if my thoughts are a cat of nine tails,
and I flay my future with this fear of being left fatherless.
On his finger resides a clip, as if he is dangling on a line,
or being dangled; a slim chance that he may yet return
to my shore, open his eyes, cease his ramblings
about a past before I was born and smile again at me,
his last boy - this father of mine fights a battle in a white room
and outside the world is grey but between is the deep abyss.
I have not the words of farewell, sacred or profane;
they got lost somewhere in the journey – I
cannot remember when he held me, or the feel of his lips,
only his chin, rough as sandpaper, and his watery eyes
that smiled at me whenever I found my way home.
I have wandered far, thought I had left him behind
and now I stand at his bedside and realize
he is about to take the farthest journey and I stand here
and try to remember every shattered aspect of us.