His last day with the window open,
I had to break the news to him:
he would not be able to die at home.
He trusted me and I broke his heart,
telling him what no one else dared say
as the last light of a humid August
threaded the shadows of fattened leaves
that counted down their days to fall.
In the ambulance when I reached out
to hold his hand he snatched it back,
then turned his face away from me
with a silence that spoke only of betrayal.
The streets he’d known all his life
were reeled in like a measuring tape,
but the last thing he said as he left his room,
was to tell the attendants to close the sash
in case it rained and the leaves blew in.
— from Juniper Volume 5, Issue 2