Last First Night

I pose we smoke
(the pleasure we can
still partake in)
but
7 becomes 8
8 becomes 9
and you are still
on the other side
of the locked door,
ursus in hibernation.

So I mark time
mull red wine
with cardamom
and lemon peel
pour the spirit
into porcelain
teacups and pass
to my teenage children
late popsicles
on a summer night.

At 11:55 you appear
your once strong body
fading with the year
you hobble a few steps
in striped pajamas
that Jew from Treblinka
watching Anderson Cooper.

I graze your shoulder,
strands of
your silver hair-
too weak to inhale
you peck me instead
with chapped lips as
your last year begins.

(C) 2019 Stacey Z. Lawrence, All Rights Reserved.

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