"Last Days" by Dawn Lundy Martin

What is the relation between Figure A and Figure B?

This is what the father has become.

That which is gone already?

Two feet, white with calluses, miasmic.

Who breathes in the room?

A girl on the bed, a daughter.

Only one then?

They won't deliver him to her, her palms, little petals.


Untouched. Yes.

Will they arrive then?

The wilting body is unmade on a soiled bed.

What color is the cusp of absence?

A selfish collection of coins in the dresser drawer.

Mine come that way.

A redefinition of what smell is.

Is there a terrible thing?

There are A and B and some curtains drawn tight to lock the room.
There is the scent that I will remember for many years.

This is what happens before the figure disappears?

A row of unkempt stones they call heroes.

How is the pain endured?

A stem of grass imagined when it is not raining.
All those things called intentions. The private treasures one keeps safe.

"Last Days" from A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering  by Dawn Lundy Martin. Published by the University of Georgia Press.