From our room I hear the percolator
and the clink of spoons against cups
like wind chimes from a distant pagoda.
Sounds of deep earth blend with this music.
As I drum my fingers against your roughened quilt
where your scent still lingers.

After you have brought coffee and pills,
an unpeeled banana on a paper plate,
after we’ve tripled our trebled laughter,
you dart down to the icy garage to sneak Pall Malls.
It stalks you, as it did my father,
your cough and lung rattling as you sleep
with arms flung over me. How your touch
is a fine, thin fastening that covers like feathers
which will adhere in time, or not.

Above or below the ground.