Posts Tagged ‘mortality’

Still Life with Skull

they look hollow,

the sockets where the eyes

once were,

or is it the looker

who is hollow?


map of the skull—

all the places her dust has been,

all the places it will go


it is months

before he can tell her

that her skull is creepy,

that it scares him—

he hides it behind the books


across the brow,

a forever stamp,

a lotus, full bloom—

shhhh, don’t tell her

it’s already been canceled


golden wings in the back

of her skull,

is it any wonder

every morning

her thoughts fly east?


there are monks

who use skulls as a centerpiece—

perhaps as a symbol

of mortality, perhaps

because it’s lovely


there’s a red leaf

where her mouth would be—

here hung those lips

that loved

to kiss*


all around the skull on the table

are the skulls of the living,

so much shedding left to be done


behind the birding book

she finds the skull,

puts it on the table again


*”Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft,” in Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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In a Kitchen Far Away


for R



She skins the peaches

to freeze them

before they rot,

her hands moving over

the fruits that have already

sunk into themselves

and bloomed black.

There is such a thing

as too late.

Her own ending

implied by the blood test,

a dark bloom inside her.

Still, there is so much

sweetness to save.

Her hands glisten with it.



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The rose petals are gone.
No way to know now
what color they were.
The only perfume here
the scent of November.
The rose hips are dried,
splayed into brown stars.
I once thought that I
could bloom forever.
In our hands the leaves
crinkle and crush.
This is what we were born
for. To grow. To fall.
To know ourselves as dust.

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