Last Touch

by Edwin Romond

for Mary and Liam
If it were up to me
I'd ask Death to wait
for an October Sunday
just after dusk,
the seventh game
of the World Series
an hour away.
I'd make iced tea
the slow way, let it brew
till it was dark
as the inside of an urn,
then I'd pour it
into souvenir mugs
we bought on the boardwalk.
I'd think about the sea,
the castle we built,
how one of us cried at sunset
when waves taught us
the ache of letting go.
We'd sip tea with lemon
and sugar, share a red bowl
of popcorn and I'd be grateful
for it all:  our family's pain
and sweetness, that love survived
these seasons and forgiveness
eased us into second chances.
I'd ask for one last dance,
the three of us close,
the Beach Boys singing
"Warmth of the Sun" and
I'd beg Death
to take me then, before
the music ended,
and let the last touch
of my life be your life
breath upon me,
something to keep
in the shadow of souls
where you'll find me
lonely with God,
my arms open,
weeping both your names.

Published in The Sun, October 2002.