Thanksgiving in Guanajuato, what would have been dad’s birthday, and a poem about heat . . . . .


In the minutes
after he died
his face yellow
eyes wide open
mouth wide open
a bonsai warrior
I put my hand
under my dad’s back
and felt what I thought
was the last of the decades of heat
he’d give me.

The sweat on his skin
cooled and I imagined
his voice: now
it’s yours

and his frozen face winked—
and I was afraid

until just days ago
more than a year later
a picture of his old self
unexpectedly appeared
on my computer
and I felt the warmth of his head
kissing his head
my cheek against the top of his head.

Somebody before him
gave it to him
his grandmother
and somebody before her
gave it to her
and my mind can’t imagine
so many people
so far back
passing on the heat
and now
as he said
as I imagined he said
heat on my hand
heat on my face
it’s mine.