4/30, a resurrection of lines

It took
23 years
8 months and
12 days
To hear my grandfather say,
“I love you”

In his way, he believed in love.
The
Socio-economic benefits
Of co-habitation.
In Making a genetic contribution to the population.
He did not believe in marriage since,
Divorce is both 
Inevitable and expensive.

 He believed I was a girl worth loving. 

It took 23 years
8 months
And 26 days
To hear my grandfather accuse me of trying to kill him.

Everyone kept telling me it was just this illness talking
but Alzheimer’ss does not speak.
To speak would be to give.
It only takes.
It only steals.

In November, it took him.

I came prepared for the evening
With Eliot’s Four Quartets
The subject of his thesis.
I set my reading
In line with the pace of
His relentless
Against-all-odds-still-beating
Heart
165 beats per minute. 

Passers-by who caught a glimpse
Must have heard
Me reading bible verse
They at least heard me speak
Of end and time.
Beginning and England
Old men and spring.
November.
And
Knowing.

What it is to love a man who is dying. 

All of the Italian
I still can’t move my lips around.
The sound.
Of my grandfather wrapping
His ribcage around a breath
45 times per minute. 

Amazing how hard
His heart was working
Just
To
Stop.

Like his lungs still had something to say.

There is a history of Alzheimer’s in my family,
So be warned,
Should you ever know me.
Love me.
Someday
That may be not be enough.

Be warned.
Should we meet only this once,
Should you never think of me again
That in 68 years

You may be the only story
That I have left

To tell my granddaughter.

 

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