What was the word I can’t remember,
what words did I know at nine ?
Plenty with a father like mine. His sister
cornered me. Was it the stone
room, it had a porch door
a stranger could come in, was Mother
alive I can’t remember who slept
upstairs, I turned the knob to the attic
door, it was cold, it was hot, I looked
through the box, I smelled her cashmere clothes,
the bra with a plastic straw attached,
blew air in the cup, slipped into the straps—
was it a curse word or a bad thought? Don’t say.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 2.
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