The cheesesteak I cooked for him,
Like biting through steel, he said.
I want to live another five years
so the grandkids can remember me.
I saw photos on Facebook at Tres Magaritas,
his cheeks a mine, excavated,
his smile stilled by the camera.
It has been a year—over a year!—
since the suits, shirts, and shoes
given away to close friends,
since the casseroles, late night tea.
His eight-minute drive
he took for decades to NCAR,
right turns on Heidelberg,
Lehigh and Table Mesa
became frontiers and scouts
for the Civil War,
his hospital room,
a rundown mountain hotel.
My son swipes through photos
on my phone. Grandad, he says.
The sharks swim in a luminous
blue glass taller than his outstretched arms.
I can still smell the peat
from the Lagavulin we drank together,
his oak and hay cough, his heavy pour,
like the magazine renewal emails
I get from the New Yorker
long after his death.
I want to email those fucks back
and say it was a Christmas gift,
you fuck, he’s dead I can’t buy him
another year for sixty percent off.