My kitchen is filled with men in black suits I ask one of them to tell me the story of Batman, as I know the outline, the bare facts found in comic books, but not the deeper mythology. Their spokesman listens patiently, says: “We can only tell the true story of Bruce Wayne in plainsong.”
He assembles them as a choir. They tune, begin. The low, solemn voices of men rise and fall as the tragedy of Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne unfolds.
As I wake, I think: this melody is not plainsong or chant. It sounds a bit like nineteenth century hymnody like “Abide With Me, or “Lead Me Gently Home, Father.”
The search for lights takes me down suburban streets both similar and literally the same as my childhood; the strange thought in the shadows surrounding the people inside, the progression of lives as they keep turning along the solstice.
One month to the day
is when I finally dream of him alive
not counting half-awake forgetfulness I should tell Dad about
We are both in hospital sharing a room perhaps it is another accident
my reasons are vague, the mild, hopeful complaints
of hospital dramas where the patient goes home
And I cannot remember our conversations
In the dream, I can’t remember how I got there which sounds like something serious, actually
Dad and I actually talked, five or six weeks ago about how tired he was of the hospital I recalled my own stay, the connection even I knew was limited – but all I could offer I almost got away with it. He grinned “but you were getting better.”
He didn’t know what kind of body to expect he just hoped for legs that worked.
And it’s only when I wake up
that I remember Dad is gone
from the hospital for good
Dad is gone for good.