Erin Mullikin

 

DEAD WIFE’S SONG

________In the space of this tiny apartment, I lay my wife’s bones
between  the  slats of wood  so  that  she is like the  tiger lilies she
loves, orange  & trumpeting.  I have carried her  over one thousand
miles, over interstates & creeks, grasses & motels.

________In  Virginia, there  was a ghost  made of  diamonds who
pointed to  her stems laughing. In Maryland, a small dove without
wings. With  her  bones  so puzzled & sharp,  she spoke to me like
wind chimes.

________As  I  drove,  her  clavicle  passed  me a  joint.  She kept
singing: In the  gray house by  the forest, I am blinking very fast &
my  eyelashes are becoming a part of your hand. Your palm is like
an  ocean.   I see  its waves,  its seabed.  I watch the kelp move in
your breath.  So close to the water in all these trees. So much like
a wasteland, so much like impossible. You can never be both bird
& fish, both leaf & ripple.

 

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NOT THAT WE ARE GHOSTS

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_____or scattered particles

_____or pinches of feathers

_____or wax droplets.

__________________________Cyclopic, yes.

 

Waiting for the patrons to bring their museum tickets over to our jars.

Waiting for the folds to replace formaldehyde, for our mattress to finally be full of us

 

_____at once, lastly being the only way we can see

_____each other, through the telescopic,

_____through the crushed lens.

 

__________________________Conclave, yes.

 

Our bodies: How to arrive at a body not a body but a body so that the body becomes a word you
can no longer trust. Becomes a limb. Becomes a tiny mirage floating on the other end of whatever
you are looking through: Beveled.

Not that we are looking but we are looking.

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