I remember walking you home so you could walk me home
so I could walk you halfway back, until, finally,
you walked one block to finish a last story like a blessing.
I remember our wandering around the Circus Maximus
of Times Square to Mozart, you proved, beating time
on my back, your hand in the crowd conducting ecstasy.
I remember the warm yogurt of the Dead Sea,
wiggling our toes and balancing the sue. on our noses
like comedian seals, God, for once, speechless.
I remember the Jerusalem you showed me like a wound,
every tree, street, and shadowed doorway.
I remember the stars burning in the night like graves.
I remember our driving eight hundred miles
to move my mother into a nursing home, your kissing
her hand like a soldier saluting an act of courage.
I remember our silence at the Western Wall,
our prayers hovering in the air like hummingbirds.
I remember you smiling as if everything had been forgiven.
I remember our singing Vallejo, Tranströer, Szymborska,
in a classroom, the joy in your hooded eyes,
the cancer scraping your blood like a scythe.
I remember you drifting off in cafés like an astronaut
turning in space, attached only by an umbilicus of faith,
the light in your eyes moving farther and farther away.
This article originally ran in the September 24, 2001 issue of the magazine.