This is what I’ve decided
to do with a dead woman’s things.
her clothing through openings, taking her books
and splaying them spine high like fallen birds.
Burning the chairs where she pretended
rusted weak hands never hardened me,
the kitchen orchids’ sorry minds
drooping wrinkled to the pane.
Ex mero motu, her fancy silver, I take outside
and stick them in the ground standing
like soldiers at attention, erect and wakeful
taking stock of their graves, as the late light
makes long and narrow their shadows.
Rip free her curtains,
let clatter her pearls, let the old grey tongue
leading to her stoop become overgrown.
with yellow windmills, bowing
hot summers like toads.
I cry with wicked thoughts,
palms black with dust.
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