Thursday, May 05, 2005

You lie

(To my grandmother, on the third anniversary of her death)

Like a ceiling fan coming to a halt
Warmth dissipates from me;
The creeping anniversary sticks in my mouth
Like pine glue on Christmas ornaments.
I bring my fingertips to my nose
And inhale the stale smell of winter;
I want to write her, but all my boxes are hidden
Under stacks of paper towels and cherry jam.
A smile slowly comes into focus:
“This was the last picture of her.”
It hangs on the wall, bleeding softly under my day
Into a reminiscence of oily eggplant and talcum powder.
A fingernail scratches my back, and then another,
Until the dead skin is peeling off like lazy days in the heat.
“She’s still there,” you said. But you lie,
You lie because there is no comfort in a song;
Because her shoulders, when we were crammed in the back,
Smelled of mountains, and honey, and old flesh.
You lie because you remember the cluck of her tongue
Smoothing away the night.
Like the day isn’t coming,
And dawn is only a joke.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. I have nothing to utter. I shall print it and give it to her.

Ton frère Ahmad