Lise Latreille, Clarendon Street (color photograph)

Eventually my father
will drink himself out of the body
and never be let back in.
It’s too late. 

The dentures, done with their chewing,
clench their teeth in a cup.
Each honey-slurred word from his mouth,
each clumsy confession of love,

slipped like a token
into a broken jukebox.
There is never enough
sobriety or music in this house.

Nothing happens
but the sound of no songs.
Yet, I am still the dutiful son
who dances, the one

who knows music
is about playing the notes
as well as the rests, filling a glass
then emptying yourself.


Michael Schmeltzer