He holds one end, I hold the other end. We twist blue string.
We tie knots at both ends. I want to please and run to wrap
the string round the trunk of a tree in Susie’s field. There are
questions that hinge on our lives. He talks about the after-life
and the dead that never come back. His wooden chair is lopsided.
He searches for tiny fluctuations in the temperament of metal
then sharpens the bush-trimmer that lies precariously on his knees.
I watch. In my head, I am feeding him date kernels to calm the heart
and counteract all endings. I look to the sky and see a puppy dog cloud
change to a woman clutching two bare breasts. He says he knows
about the hail of golden bullets, one thousandth the thickness
of a human hair, that can infiltrate the body like a Trojan horse
to kill cancer. My father believes God is stable now and will not
affect his chemistry. I fall into my own consultation loop and think
of reasons to slam the moon. My father rises to snip bushes
into circular shapes. He says the moon’s orbit round the earth
is not circular. I follow him with a leaf-blower that I cannot
handle. We remember the scientist we saw on TV who called
up a slide of a monkey to dispute that everything appeared
out of nothing. As we approach the rusting gate, we see how
a mass of blackberries is weighing it down. Our very old cat,
who has more than nine lives, is sitting on the fence. I catch the cat’s
eye. His tongue slips through his toothless mouth. He slowly
begins washing his sunken chest, his tongue circling, evasively.