What We Bear
It is December and she is barefoot.
She has packed her things, her jewels,
dirty laundry strewn on my bedroom floor
since I was born. I hear her closing
the bathroom door, switching off
the light, humming through the house
like a banshee, declaring death.
She has picked the blood from the white walls,
grain by grain, as if it were mildewed paint.
My heart has long since stopped giving it;
she’s become a corpse every time I look at her.
She’ll perish without my eye, my lung,
her dead body folding in a box.
Each urn of water empty, she leaves me.
I see her head nod above the ditch,
like a dying flower in winter,
as she descends to a country
far away from thought.