On a bench in the laundromat, I see him
slumped, sobbing, his back reflected
in the washer’s porthole. Inside the machine,
a deep, irregular whirr, the metal drum
tossing loose socks, shirts, invisible limbs.
Never have I seen a man break
so completely, as if a vast crevasse
had unzipped his life. Later, hauling
a warm bag of clothes up uneven flights,
I recall my father’s woolly voice,
our last meal together, the ceiling fan
chopping light above us, when he asked
if I would ever forgive him, how slowly
he took off his glasses and wept.
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