## 3-3=0

We are three men.
My father, my brother, and the head.
We are no longer boys, maybe his boys,
mostly just his sons, but we are boys no longer.
And
The women of our lives are gone.
I am not quite sure why this is true, but I understand the affects.
While the geometry of our lives intersects, they will not connect.
My mother's salty ashes sit in a box, under a terra cotta roof, under the relentless Nevada sun.
There they wait.
Wait for the trip to Catalina that my step father will forever be too inebriated as to undertake.
My father's mother is gone.
She never slept in the wedding bed after my grandfather died.
She waited on the day bed, rested there with her hand over her eyes.
Until, the stroke. I used to visit with her at the hospital, and Doris had gained the ability to speak her sentences backwards, and perfectly.
This is when the doctors found the eating.
My father stayed with her,
and there was a leaving in the middle of the night.
He called to tell me. He thought I should know.
This rambles, make the best of it.
Christmas morning.
Rolling Green Cemetery.
My brother's long fingers pull up the grass that has crept over the stone marker to my sister's grave.
December 24 would have been her birthday.
My father wants to know how old she would have been.
I have done the math on the drive down.
I have done the math in the shower.
I did the math
as he sobbed into the phone receiver on Sunday night.
I am quiet. I am the sound of a pin piercing your skin.
My little brother stands up on the shaky junk legs, and brushes off his hands.
My father hands him some powder blue and pink daisies wrapped with elastic and protected in a cellophane raincoat. This was an early morning gas station corner gathering, 3 cars idled as he sorted though the bouquets. All five fingers went down to water in the dirty 5 gallon bucket.
He places them beside the marker.
He says 31.
I have done the math.
3-3=0
We are men without women.
Their absence makes all of us forget where we were going.