Don’t think about his white blood cells
munching healthy lung tissue, termites
gorging on dry rot. Don’t think about
your grandmother’s oxygen tank
or the pediatric gas mask her genes—
your genes—have fit over his small face.
Don’t think about how he believes
his peak flow monitor is a cool toy
the pulmonologist gave him. Don’t
think about the Statue of Liberty
he sculpted out of yellow modeling clay
then annotated with ballpoint ink: head,
baby growing in belly, vagina, torch.
Don’t let it remind you of the innkeepers
in Ireland who had hung their dead child’s
watercolors on their guestroom walls.
Think instead about the hours he spent
on the beach last weekend, digging
a giant pit in the sand, then pratfalling
into it, over and over, in slow motion.
No. Don’t think about that either.
Not the hole. Not the falling.