False Friends

There’s nothing on the other side

Of this slice of pie

Just like the dress you want to buy

Began with nothing and

That slim bottle of cool white wine

Is a bridge between

Nothing and nothing

Now he arrives with doe eyes and hard hands

To be your everything

For an afternoon

You stole from nothing

And when he’s standing in the shower

You can wait on the wrinkled bed

A skin full of nothing

The next afternoon’s day dream will be a nice break from nothing

The trip you’re planning to a warmer place

Will be a relief from nothing

At the end of the day there is a plate of warm food and a television show

To take you somewhere until it’s time for bed

Your body needs its animal sleep

That’s something, you think

Someday we will have cheated death and that thief of hours, sleep, you think.

Won’t that be something?

You Must Get in the Habit of Doing


You must get in the habit of doing

And now

Because soon the scrawled, reluctant lists he wrote

Will lose their cogency and, without doing, 

You will forget how to light the oven of his ancient stove

Or when to feed his parrot and what to do

When yellow blisters creep between its toes

And your first and oldest title, Beloved Daughter

Will never grace

The stone above your final resting place

Because no one will stand then to recall

How he touched your chubby baby face

Or how you asked him to write them down, every task

That would help him leave in peace

When fate follows proper order

Fathers die before their children

And because grief will not let us to call it grace

We call it mercy