Still Life of You, Remaining

Still Life of You, Remaining

quiet & beloved memory—serpent swallowing mouse whole
a vibration of the tail—warning of appetite
I collect your worst flaws in a jar, colorful
I taste them—candy, I loathe them—cemetery. 

our walls spackled with fear, hanging rabbits & chickens
hanging blue, darker than my room, an evening, look
I pause for the moon, look, it moves you but does not move
the wind, is silent, it ruptures your breath, I wait.

we collect snakes in our room, they hiss at any movement
we splatter their colors on walls to hide the shame
we shame the walls with colors that we splattered
I collect my snakes and wait for your return.

I miss heat, I search for heat, I slash your name
into this canvas, I rip flowers apart, and berries
I smear their colors onto this surface, I repeat
no space is left un-filled, unfulfilled.

we pause, I gather water, to drown
harm in the gut, or grief, whatever we call
separation, bleeding onto a white plateau
of us and you, I exiled and you, re-appearing.


Image: Sunset near Arbonne,ca. 1860–65, Théodore Rousseau French