Listen. I will tell you everything. The weather is turning.
Soon it will be time to unroll the Persian rugs and lay them
on the polished floors.
I will hold nothing back. I am brittle, like glass; like leaves
of a tree too long without water; a cocoon, untenanted,
exposed to the sun.
This morning I wore a jacket to walk the river path. Two crows,
in their black robes, pecked at the body of a thick green snake.
My mother was a northerner.
She carried me across thin ice. Many times I slipped beneath
the frozen water. I never knew my father. Tomatoes are laid
on the kitchen counter,
red bulbs on the maple wood. I prepare the knife: steel blade,
sharpening stone. I want to slice to the seedy centers without
bruising the skin.
I loved my father. He had perfect, beautiful hands. He kept
them manicured and clean. There are reasons you must not
touch me. My grandmother
lived with God in her garden. She fed me carrots and peas,
she put white lilies by my bed. I am telling you everything.
It is cold here.
Birch trees bend in their white sleeves, leaves hissing in the wind.
A blade of sun slants down, casting serrated shadows on the hard
ground. Are you listening?
Do you understand? The dog waits, and waits, at the door.
Yesterday, I dropped the Murano vase. It cannot be repaired.
I cut myself on sharp, thin air.