________for my father
Everyone brings flowers
and I bring apples sent from Milton,
Josephus, Hespcides, three
red, one golden, like a flower.
It is the evening of his eleventh labor,
the prophets gathering at his bedside.
Everyone brings flowers but I bring apples,
place one in his palm
and close his fingers around the seasons
like faces, ballast,
three red, one golden.
Who knows which he’ll recognize,
which phantom feature, son
or daughter calling
past dark from the orchard trees.
I bring down apples burning, burning yellow
in the white room.
Even the window is nothing to these three
red, one golden, like a fire
we warm our hands over,
our hands over his hands
in this small camp above the city, everyone
I have brought apples,
three red, one golden, like a flower.