Guarding like a totem, as my remnant,
His highlander-bottle keeps watch:
The paternal inheritance:
The whiskey-hollow harmonic echoes
From the neck of a dry riverbed.
But the bottle-man stands tall, peripherally, on the shelf;
A blind gaze, as solemn as one last breath.
He attracts dust while his old notes nestle
In the ears of the dead, captured
Only in the memory of ashes,
So that together they remember, pulseless:
The booming, stubbled laughter, the gulping thirst.
He watches it lurk in the veins.
The path wood-carved in the family tree
To be repeated like a shared prophecy –
My birthmark from the first schism.
Only rose-falls close the lifelong call.
Too soon we dull with Sunday bells tolling
To decay with our unshakeable faults,
Bearing them like gifts for an afterlife.