looks through the gauzy air perplexed.
Where am I now? she asks. Nothing resembles
what she’s been told to expect. No seven
terraces to climb, one for every deadly sin.
No unquenchable fire. No wings or halos
or harps. Just an old man sitting
on a screened-in porch. She expects
she should remember him.
One thousand and sixty-four miles
away from the home they built together,
I dream she sees me too. Notes with approval
my wardrobe choices. I am your daughter,
I say. This was your Pendleton skirt.
Now grief is a porch where my
father sits, watching the rain.
The air that floats but does not fill
her formless form prevents her
from taking his hand. Instead
she takes a phantom broom
from the closet. Listen: you can hear
her sweeping. Always
she does what she can.