So much rain
even the spiderweb rusts.
in glistening oilskins
creaks the winch that pulls
in the dead fly. Something
far inside me follows.
But only the fly appears to pray.
The layer of dust on the floors
of the condemned houses of my childhood
the layer of dust on the top of my midlife library
between the footprints of the boy
and the fingerprints of the man –
the life that leaves no trace.
When I take this steel and gut the years
a dark rain spreads all over my hands
and a few seconds of my mother’s tears
pearl the bitten edges of my nails.
The winch of her laundry-line creaks
as that something far inside me, that
invisible life, shivers and returns
to love’s lifted and animate eyes
once more in the gentleness of her weather
this damp embrace
of the essence of our past
before she dies.