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Your Last Words

were in winter

and led up to all that week
when I ran round
a week short of nineteen
looking after you and mom and
my Pam

all of you as if dying, like late flies.
You turned round to me,
you who never talked about anything

and said 'There is a God you know'.
I was God-smacked,
two days later

you went out
(on the bus, to pay the gas bill I remember, I wanted
to go instead, but you said
'No, son, you've done enough, I'll
go instead')

And you came back,
after four heart attacks, so the coroner told me,
on the bus back

and I said to you, you don't look well,
I'll call the doctor. And you said

the singular, that was 'No'.
And I looked back down to the Penguin
'Essential James Joyce'
as you dropped down into the death-rattle

and its gale blew me to the phone up the street.