First Stage of Grief
By Zarah Parker

Though my father asked me
to hold his hand

I bought a coke and a bag of chips
from the vending machine

and in between the sirens
of room 314

I met disbelief

He had a wide smile
and green eyes

and golden rings
that he would sell me for a piece of

in which I agreed

but when he slipped
the gold on my finger I felt I’d become

him and he became me.