Jason Storms: As My Father is Taken Away

Doctor, tell me about the abnormalities
of his deformed skeleton, how
his small, distorted rib cage didn’t
allow his lungs to fully expand.
Tell me how, inevitably, for anyone,
the body will only hold us back. Tell me
how it will fail anyone, as it failed him–
how it can be a house with locked windows
filling with smoke, how the smoke
blackens the bone-white walls, how unless
the house breaks down, even the fire can’t survive.
Tell me how, afterwards, only the frame,
only the skeleton, will remain. Tell me how
a house can burn down, how banal and
expected it is, just like the body breaking
down, and how bare, how empty, how skeletal
any place seems when the body goes, and why
this hallway feels like a field, and I feel small.
Tell me there was nothing I could have done.