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.