You wake each day feeling the alphabet has grown
overnight, your mouth too full of words
Even silence is a long vowel that will not end,
a five-mile tunnel of ricochet and echo.
You offer simple semaphores to pare things down;
your head in your hands instead of grief's explanation.
When you need help ordering the day's steps,
you cut memory down to a stone you can swallow.
Clear away the tables and chairs, clutter of dishes
and books, the ringing telephone and the clock's tick
until all that's left is one small room
the size of a grown man's skull.
With a key carved from bone, you unlock the door
and bend low to enter; strike a match to find
a place you call relief: that green and simple valley,
the sky unhinging its white ramp of clouds.
The Sewing Room
Turnstone Press 2006