Pavarotti lies in a hospital bed,
and my sons who have no opera
to console them, pulled from the driveway.
I held them in the garage without words—
poet who could say nothing—
and my hands, the empty tools of fatherhood—
chased their bikes from the greasy floor,
fished laundry from the pile,
and dressed the wild room for a guest.
There was nothing to recall
but pictures and stones we climbed
in the West of dusted wind. I gave my rocks to them,
to scale some mountain other than this one,
where their twenty-odd years were spent.
We emptied our belongings to this day
the opera began to cry, Luciano
but I wanted the sound of us in a garage of boys
and sawdust, the wood chiseled to ants
and leaves and a last, prescient glow
in the mirror, when the youngest ate
the image of his father, howling good-bye.
None at this time.