I heard death rattle into you
and saw infection char your rambling end;
I wish I could have been who you wanted,
who you needed; lost before my time
yet bone of my bone,
and your bones crumbled into memory.
I held your narrow, liver-spotted hand,
skin loose over swollen knots.
The very hand that held my own
in aeons gone when you were young and I was still a promise;
now Kodak snaps gilded by time
I didn’t say goodbye, in any case you couldn’t hear
I had my work, and you
had your own things to do