Prelude to the Wake

I recognized the area code
but not the number
like I know my father’s face
but not his voice.

Grandpa didn’t die of a broken heart
like we all fantasized
when Grandma shook herself
to death, but of a broken hip

several years later. I see him already
in a casket, thick fingers holding
only each other, no slanted letter
on his lips asking me

where I see god. Maybe this
will be the year I close
my valves to blood.

For money, Krista Cox is a paralegal. For joy, she’s an associate poetry editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection and Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Program Director of Lit Literary Collective, a nonprofit serving her local literary community. Her poetry has appeared in Columbia JournalRappahannock ReviewThe Humanist, and elsewhere.