The one with silver eyes came to me
in the basement playroom, my mother upstairs
singing to the baby. Learn, the angel said,
the uses of loneliness, and wherever
her wings touched the wall, the old house
wept. Later, someone ceased to love me
so I gave my cheek to the gritty skin
of the sidewalk. Men leaned over me.
Are you lost? Are you drunk? and then the Sister
with ruby eyes walked through them
whispering, You will drink Jasmine tea
on December mornings. But when
the intravenous lines pierced my husband’s arm,
the visitor had black eyes, no whites at all, and her icy kiss
seared my forehead. This death
belongs to him, she said. Let go.
Riddlers, I named them.
The Angels of Afterward. In dreams
they come singing: Ashes. Ashes. We all
fall down. August dusk, and the one
with my mother’s silver eyes instructs me. Set the table. Set
the table—green apples and crisp
brown bread. Wait
by the open door.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 3.
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