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.

Lenny DellaRocca

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