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.