You will go down to the sea as morning breaks to remember
your mother's hands. After she died you watched someone
plant lilacs in dark soil. Even now you fall asleep beneath
them. The sound of surf will linger in your ear long after
you're gone like a woman who hums all her life as she wipes
her face to sad, beautiful music. Someone in your family,
Angelina, ran away after the war stealing colored beads
with which your grandmother made necklaces and rings.
Those beads scattered light on the cherrywood bureau in
a feast of red and indigo orbs. You could hear
that wonderful clock ticking. You will live a long life intimate
with Fuseli and the symmetry of vulvas. All your life
you've craved raw silk, winter tangerines. Only the
nacreaous light around women can heal you, only the smell
of old guitars. As a child you spent a summer afraid to
climb down from a tree. You dreamed about that for forty
years. I see a house with a grape arbor in the backyard.
Old men playing bocci. A birdbath and statue of Mary
blackened by rain. Beware the stranger whose eyes greet
you like rare orchids. She will come to you underneath
an umbrella, her face and hands deep in its shade.
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