My immediate response kicks in: “You’re not dying.”
The main thing is to speak in monotone reassurance.
“You’re not dying,” I repeat. “I’m not ready for you to go.”
And we have nothing more to say the rest of the way.
Our third or fourth trip to disease harbor, we pray.
The edge we negotiate each day exhausts us both,
He teetering to the right and me pulling him back left.
We battle each under the armor of our own skin, an
Aged man and his aging daughter jousting the gods.