You’ve stopped whispering
and are asleep. I go on listening
to apples drop in the grass
beyond the window. Earlier we tried to guess
each fall’s moment, but neither kept up
that little game of hope
or fear for long. Now your weight
against me is like … I was about to say
like no other, unmistakably
human, my son’s. But, truth is, you’re simply
heft. Burden like, say, grain,
your body brings my body pain,
your shoulders, knees, elbows, hands,
lumpy like sacked fruit, and
whatever concord is
actual between us is
not easily meant,
but is so only by our diligence.
I recall a far
season of flowers
when, for love, I crept to the edge of a roof to reach
a petal-decked branch.
It snapped, I
dropped, screaming down sky
and flowering. My father yelled
my name, ran out to find me sprawled,
dazed, gripping his crushed gift, thrust
at him in my bloody fist.
He plunges below us now, as we
fall soundless toward him, our bodies
crowded on your narrow bed,
my arm and leg gone numb, your torso wedged
between the wall and me.
You sleep uncomfortably,
though comforted by my
presence, for which you cry
some nights, and which you, such nights, endure.
Where did you, so young, learn
such sacrifice? Now
I no longer hear the apples fall. But how
they go! Incessantly, though
with no noise, no
blunt announcements of their gravity.
There is no bottom to the night, no end
to our descent.
We suffer each other to have each other a while.