Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Resurrecting Ponce

Along with a carton of unfiltered cigs
I bought a barrel drum of red pistachios
and now carefully smuggle them
eighteen red nuts and two smokes at a time
to the V.A. hospital
where my grandfather lies sinking
in a stagnant pond of
starched, white linen

He is motionless as I enter
except for a slight, unanimous tremor
up the several tubes
rendering his body
a twisted network of death-delaying
entrances and exits
I close the door and hold a lit cigarette
before his mouth
His lips strain with all the effort
of a crew-cut Samson
and I swear to God
no smoke comes back out

After his second cigarette
I bring out the pistachios
and deal them one at a time
Letting him crack them with his own hands
Each plump kernel eventually falling out
as if by accident
He never finishes more than seven
But what if he does?

He slips out of consciousness
His dead-vine arms
turned out in supplication
ready for what's coming
it seems
But the expectant shadows balk
They remain near the IV stand
unsure and slouching in the corner, wondering
how to take the life of an old man
whose fingers are still pink

No comments:

Post a Comment