Landscape of Wind

for Charles Vera

Cancer is wracking his body while
his two sisters play poker, make
yogurt, tell Armenian jokes.
In the presence of death devotion is
traditional, a culture cupboard-hoarded
to burst as a festival in small rooms.

Is this a country of three, an island adrift
utterly ignorant of pain?
No. His body is his own landscape,
with the language of light dispossessing
his skin. His sighs, votive-pure, float
out into the world. They're recognizable
sign posts nearly inundated by seas
still too clear to be completely catastrophic.

Why doesnt debris congregate,
all that past flotsam, jetsam?
He's discarded such in a breeze anguish
hones while love, balanced delicately,
comforts and prowls cat-like around.

The hands of his sisters offer porridge
in tea cups to feed not the malignancy, the
loss, that stone,
but love, hungry love passing, catching and passing
pieces of touch in the air.

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