Cultural Weekly

December 2016

Three Poems: At His House, Old Petra, Figs

At His House

He snores, I look at him.
He wakes up.
I did not cry as much today, he says.
The dogs bark outside, a plane goes by.
We want to believe that everything is as usual.
There is a painting on the bedroom wall—
a small bird carrying a box, a big box.
It has always been there, since I met him.
Today the box looks too heavy.

He eats the cheese and the crackers
against the doctor’s orders.
I am not looking.
Then he needs to go to the bathroom.
He is too frail.
He does not make it.
I clean him.
You always wanted a piece of my ass,
he says.
The humor is still alive.

I open the window, wash my hands, take out the trash.
Come back. Wash my hands again.
I feel guilty when I wash my hands the third time.
And then he asks me questions.
I close the window to gain some time.
I don’t know what to say.
I don’t know what helps him more—
what I tell him, what I hide.
Maybe nothing can help.

He falls asleep again,
snores louder than we could expect
from a body like that.