I bring the watered-down wine to my mother’s lips
hold the plastic cup at an angle, tilt the straw.
Pleasures remain, and we practice them.
The body in water.
The anticipation of spring.
Above the deck, a string of lights levitates
below the sunshade like a globed consciousness
working only in the night.
Below the deck—small animals,
bundles of rustling nerves.
How many worlds?
How many dimensions hiding
in our perceived walls? In the dark of summer
we watch insects give themselves to fire
and we take in my father’s stories with more wine,
more water. When it is time, we will rise together
on the homemade lift into the living
room. We will wheel down the hall and
my brother will cradle the arc of my mother
in his arms and lay her to sleep in bed.
This is the geometry of dying—
and our grief is a closed circle
concentric in its company but radiating
like the fire does, and the glass festoons do,
and as all light will, arriving
from anywhere and touching anything.
O, the starlight—
when moved by a turbulent atmosphere—
how it spreads.