It's a different kind of trip to Phoenix this time. Out on my parents back patio, the cool night air and the lights from the pool, traffic lulling off in the distance and the chlorine still stinking out my skin. My body holding all the heat from a long soak in the spa. Used to call these things hot tubs, but now they're spas I guess.
Plane sounding over head but I can't see it. Can't see much out past these lights. Lone palm silhouette, but not even. Just a faint stripe of trunk lit up white from below and then nothing. No top, no bottom. And even that white stripe I can only see if I look hard enough. Find the right spot. Hot tub heat draining out of me. Chill night air taking over inside.
It's a different kind trip this time. Everything the same, but not the same at all. We are one less. There's no mistaking all the ways my dad's not here, but still forever seems like an impossible time to be gone. In the house everything as it always was. Except his chair is empty and the TVs not blasting me out of bed in the middle of the night and there's no snoring.