Grandmother

On my right
is a grown girl
shouldering responsibilities, shyness, and a world of her own.
On my left
the remnants of a mind,
crowing;
come here, speak up, you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

The thick air is heavy,
brittle and crumbling to pieces in my mouth.
Footsteps soundless on carpeted floor –
I catch myself in the mirror, dancing on my toes
and fling my arms out wildly and spin –
and catch my self,
falling back into stillness.

The wood squares are smooth between my fingers,
clinking sullenly against plastic
while the clock ticks judgment
into the syrupy silence.
And I lift my head and look
into the bright kitchen,
not sure
where to rest my hands.

My heartbeat is woven into
an endless strand of stories,
an undulating circle of sound,
weaving into itself again and again;
catching memories
in the thick thread
of her voice.

Slow shuffle
of feet that have forgotten themselves,
and dry laughter
falling to pieces on the floor.
I stand on the edge of this micro world,
close my eyes to the sun,
letting the red beat against my eyes.

Caught
in the bubble of creaky hard bed,
cold chocolate and blue veined hands,
each story told for the third time, the fourth.
The slow look between sisters of
silence, now.
Hold your peace.

Unfamiliar names
slip unto the table between us
in a bitter voice.
And the clock ticks.
And the silence builds.
Like layers of stone
in the earth.

We stand outside in paradise
while the cold seeps into my chest,
and hatred creeps in tendrils through the air.
But it is warm outside,
and the sun shines in a blue sky,
and I find that I
just don’t care.





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