In­ten­sive Care

The Iowa Review - - FRONT PAGE -

It’s time to say good-bye to him, says my sis­ter again and again, the day she be­comes a widow.

She says it to her hus­band’s fa­ther on speak­er­phone. Son, comes the voice, en­fee­bled

by dis­tance. The air thrums with in­sis­tence of im­po­tent ma­chines. Do you want to say

you love him? my sis­ter urges, re­lent­less. She holds the phone to her hus­band’s eyes

which have closed against it. Of course I do, says his fa­ther and then his fa­ther says noth­ing.

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