I surrender to the pale sunlight slipping through the blinds


weighed down beneath a quilt damp with night sweats

a pillow made from my father’s shirt     a hangover from

heart pills and hip pains     three trips to the toilet     an hour

of snooze buttons     dreams comparing the prices of

firearms and impossibly tall ladders     stomach pain from

the guilt that blooms every time I try to walk back a fuck-up


my youngest shifts beside me     his head buried in the nook

between my shoulder and neck     his fingers on my arm


in his sleep he lifts me toward the sun     he calms these hands

before they can dig into my eyes     his steady breaths say

that there are options    that there is more to life than death

and I start to breathe     I lean into him     I choose to live