"Cold Feet" by Francesca Farrisi
I lay my back against the hospital chapel floor
My father cold and stiff in the morgue below
I talk to God.
I talk to God
I yell at God
I yell at you, Pop
Wake up, please, just fucking wake up.
Your sins were made as white as
The body bag that covered your
Corpse on that table
Where I placed my hand
On your left big toe
Trying to make you Lazarus.
Making your frozen toe
Feel the warmth from my living hand
Feeling the faintest bit of heat transfer
Momentary hope, then ice needles inside
You’re dead, and you don’t want
To come back.
I hate feet, I hated your feet
Wore a sock on my hand as a child
When you paid me to rub them
And my sisters always took the bait
Not me, not worth the “ten cents an hour”
I’d demand much more in
Trade to touch your gross feet.
In the chapel the memory of my last moment
Seeing you alive
Floods my mind
I’m drowning in guilt
As I realize it’s not the memory I thought it was
Not the good memory of watching you play
Your blues harmonica to one of my favorite
Songs in church
It’s not the memory of me telling you that Theo
Looked up to you like you were everything to him.
No, I remember now the last time I saw you
You woke me from a nap
Asking me to come with you to New York
I was groggy, crabby, sleep was my priority
Not wanting to spend time with you
As you woke me up
Grasping for my attention
Forcing me to startle out of slumber
By grabbing my right big toe.
But I didn’t want to wake up
And now, neither do you.