After we buried him Dad came back as a mall Santa. I visited daily, but he never recognized me. He always said prayer was begging for scraps that leaked from above, but God wouldn’t make heaven with pores. Yet he still returned as a dirty saint, seated in the shadow of illuminated baby Jesus at the apex of the Christmas tree. All those sinking angels in the branches. All of us climbing the vast distance to heaven. I pray for hours at the feet of Jesus while Dad asks me – M’am, would you like a picture? When Christmas passes he’s gone, reborn elsewhere.

AND: Three Micros

He coughed after he chain smoked; there was always some story stuck in his lung.