When I hear my father dead,
I flew ten hours into the sun.
Next morning, I put black on.
Waistcoat, white shirt, soft pants,
the new brown half-brogues.

The deep brakes of the rental car
were unsuitable for islands.
Every time I fall asleep I driving off the road.
And when that casket was flung open in the chapel
I was not prepared for what I saw.

Outside, the sun continued lancing the galvanise,
and the San Juan River to run towards the south.
There was no wind, no breath in that hot time,
besides the warm air above my father’s mouth.

Sonnets for Alber Anthony Joseph

From Sonnets for Albert. Reproduced with kind permission of Bloomsbury Poetry.

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