January

Waking up, no knowledge of without. 
Then the trees, swaying slightly, the crueler cold
in sunlight, my mother at lunch. 
I should apply for jobs. I should write something better.
I eat breakfast without
a plate, without a fork even though I need a fork. 

I imagine my grandmother on her porch, petting the Schnauzer 
with her foot, peaceful, forgetting me. I believe
in honoring this quieting, even though it is a violence. You fought this
incessantly, but I think you are changing.
Relentless morning, the shards of cracked mug tossing light 
in a way that could be beautiful, 
it is impossible to imagine your absence.
My fears putter around in the other room, drawing the curtains, making the bed. Refusing 
to be paid and showed the door, or flirt with dust in my childhood bedroom.

I’m thinking about that time, spring on Staten Island, when I thought of you
how I once thought of my parents: infallible, haloed, right about everything. 
That was the early fanfare, then the thick middle, its disappointments and dramas,
then the snow falling, leaving quiet, leaving 
the thing that steps in quickly from the cold just after love, 
catching the last breath of the door before it shuts.
Building the draft in this house. Fanning the wind in my mind.
The snow piles in drifts. Perhaps all but this room
is lost forever.

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