5th February 2020

Constantly clicking photos.
I told the cancer charity counsellor.
“What makes you want to do that?” she asked.

“I don’t want to forget anything.”

Even when he is so unwell.
When he isn’t himself.

Except, he is still him.
Even now
he is beautiful.
Rarely he’ll half-open an eye,
make a joke,
spirit glows,
and I’ll think,

“Dad.”

One night
I knelt by his bed
holding his occasionally twitching hand,
tears silently wetting the sheet,
thinking he was asleep,
or sedated,
or not with it,
but suddenly his eyes were wide
and his weak arms
held half-way up
signalling me for a hug.

Sometimes I lay next to him.
My cheek, the ribs beneath his breastbone:
My head’s too heavy
for his raspy chest.

On brave days
I stare at his old shitty tattoes,
and new contours.
He hunches forward
(better for the pain)
and I witness the disease
mutilate his once-muscled body.
The top bone of his spine is so big and bulbous. Down his back the balls of bone stick out like a river monster swimming under his brown skin.
His knees are footballs,
legs are twigs
and his hips look fragile enough to crack with a flick, and I whisper,
“Remember the pink doors when I was four?”

“Yes.”

I’m a firework,
I shoot him to a place from before
with a single detail.

But there are never enough details,
so I click my camera
so I’ll remember.

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