Only those willing to go too far will know how far they can go.

At the Viewing

- in memory of Old Papa

Tears form like water droplets that trickle

from my bathtub’s faucet, swelling

from ducts, taking shape like pregnant beads

blocked from heat.


Hot and cold have been

turned off, lacking a Celsius.


His body lies in a white

coffin.  The water line

has risen and now escapes

through the sliver between the

porcelain and the edge of the stopper’s

silver moon.  I hear its burble.


With eyes and lips gently closed

his jaw fuller, not showing

the years

I stand above him, press

my lips against his forehead, not

erasing the whiteness

of his body (was he too long

in the bath?) and

leave a mark of myself

as if a kiss can make it all better.

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