Lessons for dying
Like a midwife, I sit and count
breaths until they stop.
I lean on the memory of rehearsal
as witness, as shepherd.
I embrace and say the soothing
words that must be said.
They are all nearby, the ones that
matter. It hurts to watch them lose her.
How to describe her face, alive, now dead.
Her words forever fixed in glass.
Soon, I’ll see her everywhere, guarding
words she cannot utter.
They are grateful I have come to sit with them.
As for me, I’ve lost the myth of shelter.
I do not unearth meaning.
I do not know how to pray.