Granddaughter Casting Afternoon Shadows
What I love about death is the way everything else falls away.
Everything else falls down around death and only death remains: bright, sharp and ringing.
What I hate about death is death.
What I love about death are the bones in the face.
What I hate about death is the goneness, the afters and pines.
What I hate about death are the sleepwalking mourners, peeling an orange bare-fingered.
Or turning a car key in its ball joint. Only sunk, only cupped bones cold in the face.
What I love about death is the swimming through velvet, a body burning with crying.
A chance to grieve hard, fuming with love.
What I know about grandmothers is swimming through nightgowns.
What I love about death is God’s molasses of time, of sky-time, of trees.
What I hate about death is its thwack on the clock.
The clock slicks the world with its oil and motion.
Death is the onlyest mouth.
What I love about death is the dirt.
What I hate about death is the sound of dirt thunking.
Dirt slapping its heavy brown facts onto the humble pine box.
Dirt piling itself into an underground hillside, dirt closing its mouth over the box.
Dirt-boat cast into the dirty brown ocean of time to deliver the dead to a shore moneyed with soil.
Death is so tongued and so wealthy with nothing. Death is so soiled and so swimming.
What I hate is the way goodbye is two truths and a lie. Death is so clever, I hate it.
Death is so pined box and goodbye. What I know of goodbye is a door.
I know sometimes the dead show up at the door.
Lay a palm flat against it, and they talk or they listen.
What I loved of my grandmother were her tiny bones.
I loved her round hungry eyes, her mouth of nine tongues.
I loved her hands sandwiching mine.
She wouldn’t have known what to do with this poem.
She was my onlyest, brightest bone in my scorpio sky.
What I loved about her were her rumbling eyes and her trembling love.
How she was the sun.
What I hate about death is the sun.
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