The nicotine coating your truck windows so thick
it took us vinegar and old paint canvas
to cut through it.
The snap of your Zippo lighter
like the snap of a worn leather belt
when you let me fill it with fluid.
The ember of your Pall Mall
dancing in the night
when you told Uncle Joe that
in the south Georgia sand
and you had to get them
on the hip or else
they’d be gone.
The rabbit’s foot you rubbed each time
the lotto numbers came out,
the one’s a dark-haired angel had whispered
in your ear, just above
the morphine patch.
The clickity-click, clickity-click
of the breathing machine
and the tube of oxygen that your fingers
fluttered to your face to hold in place
when your lungs were coated so thick
no vinegar could cut through it.
The ease of lifting you from toilet to bed,
your body but sinew and bone,
the husk that had once been my father.
Your wink after the eleventh-hour taking
of Jesus Christ as your personal savior,
cause it never hurt to hedge your bets.
Other things about you I have forgotten.
But those, those
Gotta get ’em on the hip,
Or else they’ll be gone.