The Sound Labors

I shave my father in his hospital bed
his bronchia weak as cobwebs

His cough complains
that they can do nothing
but he's worried for me
telling me to go

and I remove the respirator
for the moment
to clear the froth from his face

and we are both rabid
with recollection now
his voice grating
his profile half-mimed in foam

He minds me to keep his house
where the rooms exhale
with his last illness
his knees tenting the nurse-tight sheets

as I clear away
this last good harvest

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