he used the Amazonian jujitsu death
grip to choke out the pharmacist

who wouldn’t give him his heart medication
until tomorrow — which, he admits, is when

it’s actually scheduled for pickup. But the forecast
is for rain the next three days, and, with his eyes,

driving will be too dangerous. Just two fingers
to the pharmacist’s laryngeal prominence, after

he’d said, “I don’t control the weather, old man.”
I don’t believe the pharmacist said “old man,”

but that’s how Dad tells it, and that he hopped
the counter, got his pills, and left his co-pay

by the register. Before that, at home, he’d toasted
a corn muffin, buttered it good. For once it didn’t hurt

his teeth. He chewed real soft, wincing
in anticipation of that reliable pain, then harder,

like he had his real teeth again. He practically cried.
“How do you explain that?” he asks me. Of course, I can’t.

He felt like he could do anything, he says. Then he put
a Fred Astaire movie on his 1943 black-and-white TV,

because that’s how it’s supposed to be watched, not in fake
color, and danced with Mom for the first time since she passed.

Two beautiful hours. They went to bed, held hands,
talked until she fell asleep.