for my Grandfather

A single-page obituary

told me more than you ever did.

I never made the drive,

which perhaps was selfish,

perhaps was simply sensible.

What is blood but life, anyways?

You never even went to war—

just fired rifles into thick Florida air.

Why say elegy instead of eulogy—

perhaps I don’t know enough to


I certainly don’t know

enough to come mend absences;

I deliberated and

then he died.

And so elegy, for I mourn a

myriad of misshapen things:

Mother-love, daughter-love,

baggage at a different platform

entirely and we have to call across

crackling satellite space to coordinate

our grief.

Mine was the last, crackling

voice he heard, and could it

conceivably have been a relief?

Did he/you hold on too long—

what is blood but life, anyways?

Literally speaking, we share none

at all,

yet somehow a thick

rich arterial flow flooded

that stilted call.

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