You are dying southwest of Indianapolis

your breath’s raspy whisper yesterday

telling me there’s no more uphill

that the blue bird houses still on

the workbench painted robin’s egg blue

and the open porch feeder drying atop

an empty gallon of Glidden Premium

in its gold wrapper are all you’ll ever make

so this morning on Cinco de Mayo my heart

is naked, unwrapped to be the last of us

when together we added up to so much

in spite of those who whispered

behind their hands about that house

with peeling paint on the corner

how you used to rig the lawnmower

engine to a board and set it over

a empty 55 gallon steel drum rev it

until echoes escaped the fence

raced up the road while I set off

whole rolls of caps with the sledgehammer

how I speared your hand to the ground

with a javelin throw and a nail spiked

into a tomato stake when you wouldn’t

let me play football and how I ran

around and around the house right

through the bushes screaming

that I’d killed you, stories we retold

to each other over the years like arms

thrown across a shoulder though now

they’re too far to wrap anything but

our own chests, the only thing we have

those whispers between chuffs of oxygen

slowly climbing up the scale in its hissing

tanks all that’s tethering you now.