Your dull-grey eyes swim with astral projections—
The whiteness of these walls playback each memory.
Clasping your parchment hands in gentle anxiety,
write to-do lists for a self that no longer exists.
The whiteness of these walls playback each memory
for you only. If I squint hard enough will I join your world?
And write to-do lists for a self that no longer exists.
This hospital is not a grand hotel, though you order room service.
For you only, I will squint hard enough to join your world,
speaking the mother tongue without fluency.
This hospital is your grand hotel, you order room service.
I comb down your silver crown—a halo forming.
This pantoum is dedicated to my grandfather Sebastiano Perillo, who passed away from dementia in 2019. Your lively spirit and unconditional love sustain me every day.