Where the Conversation Always Ends
Chew – the only kind of tobacco he never used and now he carries
a circular can sewn under skin and muscle over his heart-pocket.
The instructions for his internal cardiac defibrillator include warnings
like if device discharges during sexual activity partner will not be affected.
Pity. I, too, would like to feel the earth move.
Our talk turns to what to do if, without mentioning what if what. He has a fear
of being cooked, a method I prefer; tales of the dearly’s
ashes tossed out hot air balloons and inhaled on an updraft, notwithstanding,
or, perhaps, withstanding. Where shall he lay
is the dispute. In New Orleans, in the family plot, where there is one box
for the generations of family bones to bed entwined, until full when the old ones
get shaken out to make room for new applicants? Or Oklahoma, where we met
and live, shall I bed him down and oblige myself to stay,
place flowers at the appropriate holidays and some day join him
in the ground, is the implication, and where the conversation ends. Then,
there is that which is never said, regarding the twenty years
that separates us and the heart that beats, unaided.