Under the Eaves
Out there on the edge,
under the eaves
of mind’s fringes –
icicle of the past hangs
piercing through the present
a stuck scene re-playing itself,
a record’s needle skipping:
I need money, money to study.
She is speaking to someone whom
only she can see in the curtained
off rafters behind mind’s eye.
The blown out candles, or maybe
there is one, whose solitary flickering
refuses to be extinguished
in the webbed-wing lining of memory.
Late into her 80s, the present
lost as a blackout, yet
clear as a camera lens focusing on
a phantom apparition, her haunting –
tongue caught in ghostly protestations:
I need money, money to study Latin and French
with the instructor, who lives in the big beautiful
house on the overlooking hill –
then the added moaning of letter “o,”
she cannot let go of: O let me have money.
Again and again: O please, I need money,
money to study Latin and French…
as she presses wringing hot hands
along thighs, as if trying to iron out
the wrinkles of her own despair.
The seeing of someone not really here.
But there, where misfired thoughts live on
in the occupancy of haunted rooms.
This place – vacant to everyone, except
she – she who needs money,
money to study…
O’ please let me…
O’ let me study Latin and French
Voice drifting off into summer’s haze
flapping into cave of eternal night
exhausted she sleeps upside down, wings
curling in around, a delicate and boney body.