I watched you breathe your last.
You looked flummoxed, confused, surprised.
Had you dreamed of drowning?
You died drowned in a bourbon bottle.
Did you dream of burning?
Thirty cigarettes a day
smoldered your life away.

My analyst refused to believe
that you were of no consequence in my life.
But you weren’t. My analyst,
a southern psychoanalytic cliché,
insisted that your demise was dramatic,
catastrophic, life changing,
and it was, but not because I’d lost the Father,
the No, the Law. Theoretically encased
in a caldera called Lacan, my analyst
couldn’t find a silver dollar in his ass
with a metal detector.

You were the filter between
my raging mother and me.
After you died, I was the only one left
to soak up her bile—that,
and a damaged heart,
your legacy to me.

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