The Sailor

It’s been six years
since you released
your last exhale.
I wasn’t in the room

when it happened because
that is how you wanted it,
just like your own father.
I believe you felt

it had something to do with grace,
though I often regret it,
that I wasn’t there to hold
your hand, to support you toward

your next great opening.
Instead we were sitting
in that fancy white lobster
restaurant in Malibu,

your two children,
with the clinky glasses
and the aproned waiters
and the wall of windows

to the sea.  That blue ocean,
where you spent
so many of your years
losing yourself

and finding yourself.
You longed for the home
that was always waiting for you,
and we both knew it

the moment
you were gone.
We looked at each other
over the crumbs and shells

and toasted our flutes
of expensive champagne,
tried to celebrate you
as best we could

though the chain of our DNA
was ripping, and we felt it,
as you left
for that other horizon.

 

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First Time Since

Standing in your kitchen
between towers of boxes
that overflow with a lifetime

of belongings, I cannot move
forward or backward
and Michael

sits bewildered on a barstool,
elbow resting
on the counter.

We do not
know how
to begin.

And you walk toward us then,
young and tan, shirtless
and smiling. From behind you

Michael looks at me,
raises his fist and mouths the words
muy fuerte,

and we understand
that the way you looked at the very end
was actually

the dream.  When I wake
the pillow is already
wet with tears.