I see my father kneel in tenements
and public spaces—places where he declares
our generous hungers. There, the lilies
dry in the sun, breathless. Desiccating mouths
tilting downward toward the red-marrow floor.
My father’s knees are bruised as he sweeps up
brick dust, ground by many shoes. How the swirls
of wind-gusts from passing travelers move
the script of passing bodies. Whorls. Granules.
Shifting specks making legible faces,
all of whom resemble someone you’ve lost.
Perhaps, in your sweeping, you are truly
gathering something. As the bristles swish,
sounding like a faintly whispered secret.