At your death, mother, the death ornaments
appeared, the held, kicked attendants,
tiny sparrow-dove splayed outside
on the floor, the cracked wing working,
the mystery girl
at the room’s edge lofted in smoke
along with your mother in torn sepia, who
hid in your grudge-crowded bed.
How you did strive, then,
to kiss what was left of me
when it came to you,
and how you said so evenly,
“Now, don’t cry,” looking down,
bound for a minute in my own hands,
paler but set in your ways.
from Inside Spiders
Copyright © Persea Books 2013
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.