I was shaving my grandfather’s face with an electric buzzer
When he let out a painful groan
Followed by a grim rattle in his throat.
With his final exhalation,
A steady stream of yellow phlegm
Poured out of his mouth.
We heard the death rattle once more
Emerging like a black heraldo de la muerte
From deep within the confines
Of his constricted throat.
Abuelo turned his bald head askance, slightly to the left—
His chin tucked into the hollow crevice of his shoulder.
His eyes were already closed, ready for eternal sleep.
He let his jaw drop slightly, the color went from his face,
And he left this earth—
In a bittersweet ascending whirlwind
Of pain & relief.