As when my father goes back under
and the doctor comes out to tell us he’s put a window in my father’s heart.
At last! The inscrutable years are over. I’ll look right in
before the glass gets smudged, before he has a chance to buy drapes or slatted blinds.
It will be a picture window; I’ll be a peeping Tom.
Imagine the balcony of secrets, the longings: our future a window box of heart-to-hearts.
Then he’s awake, calling for morphine,
his pain greater than from the first surgery.
On the next rounds the doctor clarifies:
the window’s really more like a gutter so built-up fluids can drain.
And I remember my father on a ladder
pulling down leaves and rot, each year saying, Do I need this kind of trouble?
Saying, A new roof? You think I’m made of money?
Draw the shades. Let him rest. Let me sit beside my father in the dark.
Image: Marisela LaGrave