What Remains, After Exhumation

We all remembered
how our great-aunt Helene’s
house was
noisily full
of retired ghosts, dragging
abacus chains, clicking
black eyelids
which seemed just like two halves
of
a bivalve shell.

my own room was cold
empty with
the silence of all the elephants
dull pink with mud flaps

run out of it.

seeing that
the mailbox bird outside
is a crow, of course leaping
right at the
man with a green horn
right at the
sitting duck eyes, gleaming
a gleeful stab! –
the way Helene wants it
the way

a spider
could live in your cheek
or you could wake up every
morning
with flecks of rust, staining
the pillow
and no idea if anyone in your
family is still alive.

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