The Last Drag

My hair askew with

                                    that lopsided look I got from

sleeping in a hospital chair,

            the copy of Isabel Allende’s Zorro

                                                            fallen to the floor.

He had woken up before me, humming to the drip


                                                                     drip of morphine,

crumbs of the Nells on the white sheet

scenting the room in anise.

He pointed to the tin his sister sent:

“You’d think on my deathbed

she could bake them from scratch.”


A nurse walked in with marigolds,

            walked out with a bedpan.


Like thieves we unplugged each tube

                                         each canula and

I lifted his ninety-eight pounds into a wheelchair.

                                                            We scurried down the aisle and out to sky.

From underneath his gown came

one last secret Marlboro.

Three tries to light it.

We sat with the sweetbitter smoke of cigarette curling

into the fog around Mount Sutro, the ashes turning into

                                                                        dust of angels

                                                                        dust of devils

                                                                        dust of…