filled with meds both past and present
and read out loud the labels of those we stopped,
why he needs oxygen at night, and the rescue inhaler.
Between pills it’s my job to ask in a generic way
because his story needs a prop.
His ex called yesterday, Only one ex, one’s enough,
and she goes on and on, what if what if what if,
but after a while he has to do his business and promises to call back,
A half-second later, half the speed of premonition,
his phone rings–her sister, or a niece, or a cousin,
He snaps his fingers. Just like that is how.
He shrugs. Out of the blue in case I wondered.
then goes back to building a tower of bottles to take home.
I build a tower that stays here.
I always owe someone a call.
Maybe my job owes him a condolence note, or something?
Today’s my last day.
We give that a moment too.
He looks at me then through me, then a wheeze, then a sigh.
You’re my boy he exhales, and that’s it for goodbye.