For my paternal grandmother, Margaret.

Buckling sheets of velvet

meet one another at angles

and spangled with years of scars.


Similitudes of a coffee-stained sofa:

the blotches: marks of aggregate hospitality;

quietly notching her, perches for foreign birds,

loitering long after their tenants migrated.


Flocks of whispers gather around their exhibition

(they move towards me as the foam on high tide),

and my contrition grows as their pianissimo wash

cracks the cliffs of fear; only those closer to death

have the capacity, the simplicity, to be so free, so eroding.


Header image found here

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