Passed Away

Just your fingertip between the glass tabletop and its frame 
no cut, no bruise 
a pinch leaving a black comma of blood under your skin.

You were rummaging in your father’s office, 
still full of the living man 
and all that fits into files, name-tagged and alphabetized 
tallies and memoranda in letters, bills, loans, installments 
by years, by days, by hours, by the end of the minute he breathed in. 
An olive wood rosary you pulled out of a file cabinet spilled 
a brief, watery rustling 
prayers scattered on the floor 
the lean cross alone hanging down a string.

a circular path 
a ladder to an ancient encyclical chant 
the cross between your thumb and index 
Jacob’s last rung passing into high heaven.