Poems to My Father


Your urine on the floor, father,
         and my fingertips,
         cleanses my soul
                         and sears my lips.


Your body is not yet dry, father,
    Still, the dead-washers clamor for their pay.
In this country, father, they will
            to gnaw at you
                                   after you are dead.
                       Necrophagia is the order of the day,
              and everybody’s a cannibal.


This was your mother's own grave, father.
In our rush, we accidentally step on her skull.
There is no more cotton in your mouth now,
      nor in your nostrils, or your ears.
The remnants of your soul are free to ooze out of you now,
                        just as dirt is free to pour in.
Whose skull will we step on next, father?


Standing next to your grave, father,
   your head beneath my feet,
      I can kiss the dirt, father,
           I can finally weep.

August 2004