Visual art by Lydia Claussen
Emerald dress drapes enviously on perfect skin,
tulip petals budding from her laced cuffs,
heavy make-up on a waxed face, head low—
Her locket turns on chain-link thread, frame & glass
brittle and black by the smokestack’s exhaust.
She never wants to see the sepia photo of the deceased, last
chances to see yellowed façades—
lips absent—platinum sunrises
through scratched skylights embroider arachnids
into corneas. Spiders trace steps on linen—whispers
from the thumps of the flowers on floorboards.
I tie my fibrous tendons through the grommets of her dress—
held together by thumbprints traveling on grease trails:
crystalline satin folds ripple, and I send
stalactites falling through her porous, tender scalp.