Laura Kasischke

I am the mirror breathing above the sink.

There is a censored garden inside of me.

Over the worms someone has thrown
a delicately embroidered sheet, and
also the child at the rummage sale—

more souvenirs than memories.

I am the cat buried beneath the tangled ivy. And also

the white weightless egg floating over it, which is
the cat’s immortal soul. Snow

where there were leaves.
Empty plastic cups after the party on the beach.
The ash rising above the fire, like a flame.
The Sphinx with so much sand
blowing vaguely in her face. The last
shadow that passed over the blank
canvas in the empty art museum.

I am the impossibility of desiring the person you pity.

The petal of the Easter lily—

O, that ghost of a tongue.
O, that tongue of a ghost.
What would I say if I spoke?

I am the old lady in a wheelchair
in the corner of the nursing home, like

a star flung up into the infinite, the infinite, cold
silent darkness of this universe. I am

that old woman as a little girl
in brilliant shoes
some beautiful summer afternoon,
laughing bitterly.

Photo by Christian Mackie on Unsplash

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