Collection. Eviction.

In the morning grey, lamp-posts
draped in recent rain, I saw
him, his head like late wheat
as he drifted on the breeze toward
me.  I let the wind wrap her
arms around me, gently
like the time I fell from the crib
and mother touched my cheeks
with the sky and a thousand

fluttering butterflies, sweetpea
blooming as her fingers recreated
the sun, moon and stars for me.
His hand rose slowly, burning
flameless against my winter skin
and he stood by my side
and stared, eyes like empty
rooms, toward the midnight
sky, yellow with august thunder

storms.  Between us
another, a stranger, lemon and
grains of white dissolving
against my tongue.  He sees my eyes
filled with stacks of papers
regarding my father's passing:
dates attached to names of people,
who used to visit our home,
that room above the grocer's.  These

are the moments I remember, these
collection and eviction notices.  He,
my father, scribbled on the backs
of envelopes, scratched elegies
of a man alone, numbers
and numbers.  There were always
numbers written in the way
his hand lectured my cheeks and back,
ink-scratched like the envelopes.

I wondered then, as I wonder now, if
the stranger standing between us,
this snow forming grey on the road,
smiled inside when he saw me
kneeling sidelong on the kitchen floor,
my skirt blooming over my knees, my eyes
clouds of early spring rain.  I wonder
as, between my teeth, he melts
into my throat, lingering and sour.

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