Wednesday, May 1, 2013

We Used to Be Three

My feet are Sicilian and small
like her tube of red paste that I pressed against my chapped lips
in my Father’s Mother’s kitchen after the American Lake
my blood, too, ran feisty and tangential

My thick thighs and healthy chest are inherited from her, my Mother’s Mother, who wrapped tiny hotdogs in butter-cut dough
I remember when she died; I went to the funeral and sat on a bench of chestnut wood
it was marbled, encased in a thick shell of see-through resin

The Virginia summer light was yellow, and hazy, palpable, and early
I cried, not embarrassed and embarrassed all the same
because the Italian cousins were mean
and I wished to make them salted slugs

I remember how it feels to not remember enough
To not have ever known enough to form a way to remember
See, my grandmothers weren’t like boulders; instead they floated like an ambiguous fog, surrendering to the caverns of silhouetted personalities

They lived mostly
in my mind, in a rewind
of a blue storm streaking the windows of a rainy dusk

and now,
She, with the silver cotton-candy bob, with crystals, and a pearlescent purple Cadillac
has also died
when I was young, Florencia Nicole smelled like rainbows and I thought she was famous
when I was young, Clara Marguerite knew the alkaline secrets to a strange place called the desert

I remember now,
that I am here only and directly because they were
Their names form the floral fabric of my own Marguerite Nicole
Their sunsets and pain and successes built the steps for me to taste my own
and They were before
We used to be three

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