Start with how your father died.
In the hospital, his legs
couldn’t even whisper beneath
the thin sheets. You sat in a plastic
chair and took in a view of the parking
garage. The hallway was busy
with the occasional sound of toddlers
chasing balloons, of nurses, fake smiles.
You decorated his bedside with a get-
well card from an ex-wife, a tall glass
of ice water. When he passed, you
wondered how many people
had died in this room,
on this bed,
at this time of night
when the darkness was making
a meal of the world.
Excerpted from Exclusions by Noah Falck. Copyright © 2020. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Tupelo Press.