Tuesday, January 26, 2010


by George Anderson

He dies slowly by degrees
as if each breath is his last

his lungs shithouse after decades
of smoking & foundry work

attached to his oxygen machine
each strangulated snort a reprieve.

He sits there on his bed, his eyes
darkening, ‘Why do you live way

the fuck down there?’ he asks.
I shrug my shoulders. Beats me.

I guess I like the weather. I don’t
tell him how I like being away from

family. How they screw your mind.
How they limit you. He struggles

to sit up on his bed positioned by the
back door. He can’t make it upstairs

anymore. ‘Don’t get too fucken fat’,
he cautions, his belly flopping over

his pants. Later in the night I sit at
the kitchen table in the dark & stare

at the red light of his monitor, the old man
sucking, gasping for each goddamn breath.

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