Someone off-stage, drags him by the hair
his face smudged upwards, chin tilted, chest bare,
gum-shield and tubes smeared left.
Jaw a palate cleft.
Behind, red blips and peaks of hope
monitor oncoming strokes.
I stare, eyes shut,
open to a ballpoint click,
the curator is at my side
dressed like a nurse, face of a guide.
'You can touch him if you want to'
the paint is still wet
a fingertip touch is all I get.
We wait all night for 'Three Studies of the Human Head'
to dry back into my Dad.