Jamie Grefe

I must voice this now; dad's fingers making a fist and unfisting, or how after we shut his eyes, spittle continued to puddle out his mouth and onto the grass. We buried him on the hill, away from my wife. So, it's me and the boy, his hand in mine, walking up from the old mill to visit the headstones. We're still there when mom pulls dad's truck to the gravel, hands on the wheel, head bent, quiet. I watch the long sky melt into autumn. My boy tells mom about the trail to the creek, white swirls on the slabs where a bridge used to be. She tells him about the two boys who drowned when I was his age. Later, she shows my boy the bicycle I used to ride. "Touch the rust," she says, "it's still wet." I bring him outside to count the stars we never finish counting. "Do you think mom is a star?" he asks. I'm watching a cluster float across the black from one end to the other. My mom sits by the garage on dad's stool. Some say you can see shapes in the stars if you know how to look, that patterns mean something if you know how to look. My boy counts, loses count, counts on, skips back, and when I ask him which one is his mom and which one my dad, he tells me, he doesn't know how to count buried stars. "Dad," he says, "those two just keep swimming further and farther apart," but I won't tell him I can't see anything.