perfect pitch (notes for my mother)
Since you were buried
Your singers are scattered like dust.
- Kuan P'an-pan (8th-9th century)
i write in my brother's house over christmas.
he lives six blocks from the house our mother was born in.
no ghosts except ones i bring.
my mother sleeps in a room at the top of stairs.
at night the house breathes
hear her breath.
houses on sunnyside old as my mother her mother
her mother's mother.
red brick steeped in blood.
every time a truck rolls by
the windows of my mother's house shake.
windows of my brother's house shake.
someone down the street burns garbage.
my mother watches her brother from the back step empty
ashes from furnace.
the man next door rakes leaves between patches of snow.
cigarette lingers on lip
smell of smoke.
air in high park so damp my clothes crimp.
my mother's grandmother drapes wet sweaters over radiators.
perfume of wool
at the kitchen table in the dark
i sit quietly thinking of you.
my mother watches her grandmother making soup.
pinch of salt over shoulder
(from circuitry of viens by Sylvia Legris)
- See: Poetry
:: note :: ... every time a train rolls by the temple shakes ... the warning bell
tolls and the gates lower ... i listen & wait ... have never been in my brother's house ... grandmother's house no longer stands ... i watch mother looking out her kitchen window at birds nesting in the magnificent mountain ash ... she rubs her fingers willing them back to life ... i'll hold your hand tomorrow&tomorrow&to ... mother ...