[I TEXT MY FATHER IN THE AFTERLIFE & HE DOES NOT RESPOND] [W/BECKETT ECHO]

Endgame

                              —Dear father I know you are happy now

I cannot find you in the ether—just the notice of your dying—

not even nuclear in its resonance—not even one

bad photo clouding over one blue sky // & so I wander

transparent streets w/old world screenshots (one) sad wet eyes—

yours—above a ventilator // no voice in that other time //

analog abyss // (two) the wrecked mechanical heaving

of your lungs so you were bone & pump & a length of hose

above my tentative hand // & then the untethering

(to save you they said)—& then the choking (you were alone)

the dying //—it is cold here now // immense fortunes

are moving through us like oceans that don’t quite

condense // just rain & a little mud in the yard the tulips

dagger through // —O tulips // joyful fearful tulips // the woman

across the street is 93 & still alive—I am obliged—& needs

some groceries—I am obliged—until the task’s fulfilled & this

day in the looming string of days foreclosed


Dennis Hinrichsen lives in Lansing, Michigan and is the author of eight books of poetry and three chapbooks. His most recent work is This Is Where I Live I Have Nowhere Else To Go, winner of the 2020 Grid Poetry Prize, and [q / lear] from Green Linden Press. He has new work in The American Journal of PoetryAmerican Poetry JournalCanaryMacQueen’s QuinterlyThe Maine Review , and Triggerfish Critical Review, and forthcoming in Under a Warm Green Linden. From May 2017 – April 2019, he served as the first Poet Laureate of the Greater Lansing Area.