The ICU allowed us to visit past
eight at night. The entire wall facing
the nurses desk was glass.
When my uncle, bloated like a floating fish,
Skin yellow like harvested wheat, breath
heavy like wind squeezing through door
cracks spoke he stared at the TV.
I sliped both hands around his. I stroked his
skin with my thumb. He felt warm, like
sun passing through a window.
I don’t remember ever touching his
hands. Maybe as a child he held mine.
Led me across black tar roads to
Smith park or balanced me up loose
gravel hills during a hike in Victor
at grandpa’s cabin.
A nurse droped in to get blood.
He didn’t watch- “thank you”
He couldn’t eat or walk. He barely
breathed, but he spoke to me. How he doesn’t
know how he ended up in The hospital. Reminded
me that my mom died in her forty’s as well, and said
his daughter isn’t mad at him anymore.
He kept talking about my mom.
I told him he has her eyes, her mouth
maybe even her hands.
He was tired. Tubes stuck out of his arms nose and neck.
He blinked at the TV where a man charms a snake. I
stood and kissed his cheek. I tell him I don’t say it as often
as I should, but that I love him. No one does, he whispered.