Yellow Tomatoes

I once thought I could know anything.

The death knowledge of the Buddha,
the clarifying call of Gabriel—

former lives and myriad moons
that enthrall worlds braver than mine.

I, too, never doubted my time supply
to be the daughter of a dying father

who buries without the blow
of love regret.

But my father is dying an excessive death
with a wounded body that aligns
rare moments of life
to faint efforts of mind.

I do.

I offer my happy baby’s dance,
ask about our mayor and the bad president,
so, together, we can wave our related heads
with a laugh.

I bring foods he likes to eat—
chocolate, sugar-free.

A bag of sweet yellow tomatoes that falls
when his good hand forgets
to grab.

And when he insists on phoning my mother,
makes a promise to not speak drink,
I dial.

I do. I dance.

Far from the Buddha knowledge of the giving death,
deaf to the recurring chant of Gabriel.

Books by my bed and worlds of grace
that I grasp,
but lack the good hand
with which to grab.