swallows it without water,
allows her eyes to wander to
Paris, plopped before a screen,
grown fat and more than a bit
obscene, as all the brats
she birthed by him
play at war in the parlour,
their chubby fingers plunging swords
into the hearts of imaginary Greeks.
used to freedom,
threatened to burst from her
dress, green and earthy, into a
full bloom.His hands,
as black as fire,
struggled to spin her round,
let alone unzip her dress and
love her.Their teeth,
sunk deep into
having bitten flesh and sucked seeds,
I reach out to stroke your face.
I am hesitant as a foal to stand on its own,
but my fingertips quiver with their memories of you,
of nose, of philtrum, earlobe, neck.
I reach out, reach out and touch you
the way I touch everything:
the drooping lilies in their tabletop vase,
the shoes our daughter has begun to outgrow,
my grandmother’s furs still hung in their place,
as if I were a monarch or a saintly priest,
as if I could anchor us both to life....