It is never cold here, I remember. Ache rests
in these bones whispering changes too subtle
for youth. Rest, they tell me. Enough.
A sunny room in the west tower; weaving
to occupy my hands and the chatter of girls to numb my careworn mind.
I remember when my mother sent me to him.
Too-dark skin and a broad flat nose,
young as these girls and full of silliness.
He beat it from me quickly. Silent —
I watched the others take my place,
a procession I was not allowed to mind.
My skin has dried and wrinkled in his house,
stretching thin as memory over fragile,
twice-broken bones and hope like dust.
And now the man is dead. And it would be
so easy. To rest among girls not afraid of chattering and say that I have done enough.
It would be so easy.
February 5, 1997