No Clearer Expression for Leaving
Our closet is stacked with luggage.
Even relatives have donated their share
of bagged opinions during birthdays
and festivities. Had we really worked
so hard as to ignore the advent of carcinoma?
It is always too late for travelling.
I have listened to old men suffer from trains,
tunnels whooshed reminders of death,
some form of tumor always blocks the railway
of intestines, then the collision.
When I packed his pyjamas and robe
for the last time, a white handkerchief
pressed to his parched lips was the best
goodbye I could summon before
the intervention of nurses, the flat line.
Here the house still explodes with pills
scattered like dead fetuses. His side of bed,
a precipice. Every night I roll over to engulf
his pillow with stiff arms. The luggage
in the closet gather, murmur little wheels:
Book that ticket. Book it now.
Destination, any place but home.