Clothes hangers fly in my father's chest
Like steel skeletal birds,
His heartbeat dangling from their looping beaks
And their wire wings flexing in his veins.
Or they are the sinking shadows of crows,
Black bodies peppering the congestion,
The gurgling pumping of their limbs
Propping up fraying walls of tissue and blood.
An albatross carries my father's heart on wings
Slowing and slumping in the blood and brine.
All birds must land and all lives must end,
But the earth can never take him from me.