No Amount of Pressure

alfred eisenstaedt

No Amount of Pressure

excerpt from "bathtub/wine/evening"
by Raymie Wolfe

Dad sleeps loudly in the other room. He and I have become one part in this house, no longer separate. He is one of my limbs now. Not just on my arm, but of my arm. I want to save up every tenderness for Him and put my hand on his forehead and give him comfort. I want to get behind him and hold him up, let him see the world erect, like he is used to. Old age is not for him. It's not for him and we're going to fight it to the very end.

My arms are behind him, pulling his shoulders back closer to their natural-born position; uncoiled. I am saying "breathe deep into the stretch." I imagine that when I let go he doesn't collapse. But with each breath unfurls another portion of wing, until finally I remove my hands and he flies away.

i breathe with him. and when I open my eyes i gently release him. and he falls slowly forward, into the arms of age.

it doesn't matter what prayers live in the molecules of hands
no amount of pressure releases them

[copyright Raymie Wolfe, 2008]

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