On the day I finally outlive your days,
I’ll wake to leaf fire, sunlight, peeling eucalyptus
and room enough to drown in.
But I’ll still float above your kitchen-talk in rooms of broken English.
What you wouldn’t give to have that dream again
daughters with sweet heft of breasts,
sons on long stems of bones.
Isadora danced naked on the sand
but you patrolled the shore trapped in dailyness
chafing your bunions on the beach
rushing to see if one of us had drowned.
What full-time work it was for you to live,
days sucked into sinks full of dishes
nights spent ironing, every stroke a small act of love.
California shines and shines.
Summer builds earthworks all year round.
Sun glows electric
I draw long, even breaths for you,
turn and breathe
and make such simple crossings back again.