Elise Forslund

Still Life

after Erica L. Sanchez

travel light         leave a coat in the
hallway          an augury calls for snow
how bleak I find the weather         every flake
the same         I bury them in the attic
this house is my body         is my temple
I store         sin in the cupboards
learn to desecrate         this holy place
the hall is empty save for the jacket
i stare at         what silence tracks in
hear me bite down         hear me break
the delicate bones         of my tongue always
forget to make ice         and refuse to use the snow
I drink more and more         and more warm water
enough to cover the rasping         wails
plaster my throat         paint the windows shut
the door a gaping hole         neighbors
peer through         in this temple I remain
kowtowed         ask me how long
one can kneel         watch me discover
the answer         all I for pray for anymore is
to be remembered         watch the floor pattern
my knees         watch them become tile arrange
a pretty picture         this is how i grow ancient