for Frank, Kate and Donna Marchesi
you do not know what it is I am feeling
and that is fair

​for it changes so freely
I watch a man who is more like my dad
than my own sit in a blue
hospital chair his lungs

have changed filled with fluid and his wife kisses
his forehead and all the fear

​of feeling trapped in that house on tulip
street comes flooding back, but tulips
signify love and when I think of them as a flower
not red brick and fence, I hear

my grandad singing, I hear him sing
if you were the only girl in the world

​and I see the magpies and charred bark
of the bat eaten mango tree from his backyard

​I remember laying underneath
ant bite stung back
staring at decayed yellow globes and I don’t feel
scared anymore

​I’ve watched death linger
so many times now and I want you to know
I do not think it’s beautiful. It’s the colour of beige walls

and tastes like bad
sachets of black coffee​it its shapes of fingernails and flaked

skin and breathing tubes inserted in nostrils
it’s the forgetfulness of my name but not my face
and death doesn’t ever remember that your favourite
meal of the day is breakfast​

I hear my grandad sing when I think of love
and I watch the man who is more like a dad
than my own sleep, his chest
weighed down from invasive mass
his wife touches his cheek

rubs his foot and I think of that house
​on tulip street
and instead of seeing the prison
guard, I see the height chart etching the growth
of my sons in the kitchen

​and the watermelon vine outback
climbing the bricks, pulsing so alive,
​just as the man whose more like a dad
than my own goes to speak

his wife pulls out a packet of biscuits
​before his lips even part,
feeds him silent.

death will not remember
that your favourite
​meal of the day is breakfast

but watching them, now you know,
that if your life bares you one luck
it will be finding someone

like she is, to him, and you will not have to ask
because it’ll be there, on a table
in a house that feels like laying under
that mango tree,

porridge, with a side of fried eggs.