He was dying, and they all knew he was dying.
They’d brought flowers. “Well, I’m glad,”
he managed, and lifted his hand. With love,
they touched it gingerly— then his feet
harder through the blanket, and once, his ankle,
firm palm on the bone. So that when they left,
he leaned himself forward, and saw through bluish dark
that form on the bed. There was the dying thing.
He reached a finger to his stomach, poking,
then pulled up his shirt, and plied at the skin,
and in that touching, his hand became an object,
a strange form, which he lifted, and kissed.
He pressed his nose with it, pressed hard,
though not hard enough to hurt— even days from death
he couldn’t break the thing he’d loved. “My face,”
he said to the dark room. Then, in a deeper voice,
the voice of movies, “Faaacce,” laughing into the dark.
“My face,” he said, then toward his chest, “my death.”
No one disagreed, and he squinted his eyes at the dark,
pretending not to see anything, to not be anywhere.