The old man hardly dents the bed; bone-whistling chest
sinks into a sea-green song's lulling depths.
The candle light flickers, casts encroaching shadows
upon the ceiling and wall as if friends have gathered
to the final farewell. The middle of night meets the dawn
with a fork – fool's choice offered at the last.
Pinocchio holds the withered hand
that once gently held him; strokes
the knuckles and nails, studies the elongated fingers
that carved him into existence; feels
pain as his wood atomically realigns into flesh -
regrets his choices made along the way that moved
him away from the voice and touch of Geppetto.
'Father,' he whispers into the galaxy of the old man's
ear - sees how the hair that catches his sound
has turned grey, 'Strings force steps along preordained
ways but at least they offer an uncomplicated path.
'Father, existence is easy as a tree
or a log to be burnt, it is life's choices
that unnerve me,' he whispers at three
in the morning. The old man's chest creaks
like an old galley ship...then moves no more.
Pinocchio knows no prayers to say over the body
and cannot see the spirit leave the flesh, but feels
tears slide down cheeks that once sprouted leaves
instead; cries into the dark 'Geppetto is dead! Now
I understand what it is to be alive, Geppetto is dead!’
Pinocchio's toes wriggle to break past the floorboards
and enter the earth – seek sustenance in a connection
to everything his long-ago dreams made him abandon.