for my father dead at 44 grandmother dead at 33 of tuberculosis

 

captain
of death
coughed
his way
into life

dad
coughing
to death

in cold
storage

claimed
him consuming
own breath

laying
down for decades

spittle
saliva
mucus
blood

breath
battering
breath

breath
after battering
breath

relapse
after
relapse

rats
eating out
on organs

being
betrayed
by blood
& breath

chasing
cure
sickness
chasing

you
faster
& faster

bending down
to bed
& pillow
absorbing blood

hacking
in home
put me
to sleep

death's
rain
decisive

gasp

lungs death
lilies

poverty
that did not
permit you
to breathe

gasping
for public
good

locked
in
sanitarium
staring
out
at us
your blood

for years
i thought
you were death
or its shadow

you were
too poor
to possess
silhouette

trees
in belair
barked back
when we walked
wayay
from wire window

your body
was your wilderness
father

i sensed
in stories
told to tape
reel to reel
real to real

phlegm
splashing sheets

sharing bed
with bacillus

no
surprise you
sought suicide's
submission

death rested
beside you
death
fresh
you
wasted

in wins
trees took up
to tell you
truth

you carved letters
on page

as i still

do dealing
with same
master

moving about body

an
anatomy
altered

but you remained
beautiful
as i do
even death couldn't
take this
that

whatever

it is
called now

when swimming
in soil

swimming
in
soil

Christopher Barnet

Christopher Barnet

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