Dad Says He Has Caught On

He dials repeatedly. Flips the phone

open and pushes names. We know

to redirect to another subject: Let’s
walk down the hall. Here are the orchids, the other

toilet. Outstretched arm: Here is the door

to the emergency garden. And like that,

we’re calm again. He puts on his green beret

to follow the distance. Sits in

smeared sun. He asks about a small town. Three times

he eats until there is nothing left:

soup, burger or brownie. There are palm trees

at your window, I say. He agrees. He lies

on his bed. On top, the hot day just
passing by. He is waiting for the messenger

which is what happens when he rises.