self-portrait as grief

My Baba only asked / for applesauce before we took him away. / We bought
the cheap kind from Walmart, / an eight pack of squeezable applesauce, /
no sugar added, for a dollar eighty-nine. / He only got through three / before
the COVID stripped his appetite. His hazel eyes, / usually dreaming /of smoggy Tehran,
were now clumsy, dim, unseeing. / My inheritance will be a Persian copy of the Qur’an
stained / with my Baba’s tears. / I ate the remaining five / packets while
sitting alone / in the backyard, / my stomach bloated & hard & cramping. / In this lifetime,
what has this body done?/ I once thought / I wouldn’t make it to twenty. / My Baba, in
his little blue Ford truck, / once told me / he wouldn’t make it to sixty. / I now avoid the
applesauce aisle of Walmart. / How do I write an obituary for someone / still living? /
I turn twenty next week & / my Baba is sixty. / In this lifetime, / how have I loved? /
Grief is cutting open a rotting apple / with papercuts on your fingers, /
the juice stinging in your wounds. / Grief tastes of cheap & chunky applesauce, /
with no sugar / and too much cinnamon.