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I will, my father swears,
put your suitcase right here.
He pats the seat of his walker.
This night before I leave
he refuses to sleep for making plans:
I will take it to the car for you.
He’s erased the impossible brick steps
down to the driveway:
I will drive you to the airport
with or without a license.
Come morning he does none of these things.
He does only one thing:
I’ll miss you, Shug. God knows,
I will. And he kisses my cheek.
And the bones of his shoulders meet my hands
through the thin cotton of his shirt.
Will he remember who I am
next time? Driving to catch my plane,
I feel myself, everything I packed, spilling,
spooling out. There’s no next time.
I’m looking for the parts
of me he gathered and took with him.