an occultation casts a narrow silence

by strannikov

be kind to carpets


after the universe the dust will be left,

maybe grams and ounces, maybe entire tons—

but, nonetheless, piles and piles of settled dust

ready at any provocation to float.

we, no matter our accumulation date,

will settle down into tidy piles, no doubt,

after the universe has torn through the place,

leftover, our dust here now will be there then,

the persistence of ephemera enshrined,

put, perhaps, to no further use, only shook

and beaten from the guts of the lone last rug.




my mother to life


Marylyn, our mother, not fifteen years gone,

lingers to this day not in things she left me

but in the held secrets she took to her grave.

we were her only children until she died

(we think)—no less devoted than many moms

and she'd never told us of husband the first

(the photostat divorce decree outlived her).

that she confided in us after the fact

proves that to us she had nothing to explain:

she did not lie or conceal, did not mislead—

she cultivated mystery to the end.