Fall 2017 (Volume 21, Issue I)




Weeks after my husband died, I traveled
Hallow’s Eve into the dark cyclone

of the city where I passed through the knotted
silk of traffic at rush hour,

then drifted along the avenue with a bramble
of sheeted ghosts and witches

until my friend—her face smiling,
mica-bright—waved me down as the last

coins of daylight dropped to earth.
In that quick shuffle, I marked

how the present envelopes the past
like an accordion of mirrors,

my husband already twenty-five days
through his bardo, and still not there,

not home to the other side.
At the restaurant, the waiter, his head

and arms wrapped like a mummy,
took our order of bun with anchovy sauce,

leaned down to hear our voices through
the white gauze. I forgot it was Halloween,

assumed the young man was severely burned,
his injury a public stillness held inside

while the room brimmed with sorrow then
kindness, an illusion I kept to myself

as he carried water from table to table,
laid out the spring rolls with basil.


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