Leaving Angelo


How long, he says, does it take, he says,
to drive? Four days, I say, seven states.

I always liked, he says, a drive, he says,
his every sentence incised by commas

of air begged off thin blue tubes. Once, we
drove, he says, to Florida. So many,

so many, dead deer, but beautiful, the trees!
By the window, his lover holds

his own hand. The hum of hospital
voices continues its slender recital

as we watch Angelo breathe. He offers
a smile. Like here, he says, and nods

to the screen of odd parabolas
rising beside him. My dashboard, he says,

and this, he says, twitching his nose
so the tubes are raised in relief, this

is the wind in my face. The horror
of how we go on. Near

Philly a fan belt snaps, we lose
two days. In a Motel 6 in Arkansas,

my son takes his first fertile steps.
Home again after seven days

an answering machine awaits
alive with lights.