"With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even apparently,
and not in dark speeches."
See the father part the cold waters of linen,
swimming straight up from a dream
about meat growing on bone: morphine
keeps his eyes wide, asleep or awake.
The priest has come and gone already today.
His dog burst through the kitchen, scaring the cat.
The son at the bedroom window raises the blinds
and begins to read aloud an Irish memoir--
high mass, the stinking arc of incense, tongues
leading the faithful to the altar.
The father still seeing bone listens to his son.
His class-ring has slipped to the night-table
from his finger. With a bandaid it might fit again.
When the son stands over his father to say goodbye,
he lowers his palm to the old man's thin chest.
His father calls him down, nothing about something,
his mouth a singing whispering dark hole.
Later the son will sleep, dream of his father
flush-cheeked again and hale, overjoyed
to be such a picture dreamed by his son.