There’s that memory of his face when you were four

He laughs as he throws you into the air

And you felt light and buoyant and floating on the wind.

He was cleanshaven, his hair combed back neatly.

Then you remember him when you were twelve

When his face of one-week-stubble

prickled the top of your head

As he told you he wasn’t gone forever, and

You could visit him on weekends.

You stared at your reflection in the TV

as he picked up his bags and left the house.

Now, you’re thirty-six and you don’t have to remember

As the nurse pushes the IV needle into his forearm

And the ventilator that covers his face

wheezes its rhythmic beat.

And you stand there, noticing how your face

Reflects off the plastic of the ventilator.

They tell you that when you die the faces

Of the people you love flash before you.

It’s that last primordial kick of life

Something to inspire you to survive.

You wonder whose face

he will see.

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