I know you see me in his garage opposite
your hot pink cathedral. He reduces me

to a toothless mouth, a void, and I begin
to understand you. There’s nothing we won’t

do to each other, I discover, as he seals me
with his weight: the weight of generations

just like him. I shut my eyes, and still
he compels me to look. So I look. I take

everything in. His mind at work, fired by
thought, like glass being shaped in a furnace,

cooked and cooled until it hardened, its core
cut by curiosity. He and I were then made

for each other by our instinct to live, though
living now hurts me more than death ever could.

There are many ways to die, you remind me,
pointing towards your scorched heart, lance-

pierced and thorn-leashed, as I think I’m dying,
sensation abandoning then shocking my body,

consciousness suddenly paralyzing then gone,
and this isn’t it. That’s why it feels worse.

There’s a toll to continue. Unlike you, I can’t
say Gabriel came to me. I have no conceivable

evidence. My father finishes and turns on
the television. Paris by Night 46: Châu Ngọc

and Phương Vy slurring Patti LaBelle’s Lady
Marmalade. Even the winter air invades me.