-for Sylvia-

She is that stranger, beautiful
and faceless, who comes on
during commercial breaks to
haunt the blue static, whispering,
Do not pity me.

Pity the day she died
(sun struggling from behind
clouds to catch a glimpse of
the dun pillow she rested on,
Frieda and Nicholas upstairs
with bread and butter waiting,
and an army of buried men),


Pity the moments she left behind
(smart red smiles wiped dry
after lunch, chameleon hairs
caught in the hinges of mirrors,
jars of honey and that platter of
bitter, burnt resentment).

She does not bristle at the moon;
it will fall from grace soon enough.
She does not tear tulle-wrapped
dreams away; they were doomed.

Acid would not touch her shrieks
of dismay as she enters her
garden of flowers, now dead:
killed by marching mushrooms.

No, it would not do
to mourn that black shoe,
or the thoughts of a Jew
who is not a Jew but a
pebble, through and through.

The shadows of her grave
do not constitute art, not when
dying is her last living conception.