Monday, February 18, 2013

From the Empirical Archives: Assisted Living by Mercedes Lawry

Assisted Living
Mercedes Lawry


Originally Published in the August 2012 Issue of Empirical

Cold will and testament.
Amputated feeling? Replace with thick soup,
nourishment with a slight Proustian moment
that can easily be stashed in a back closet.
Death comes slowly and not so much.
Clatter of pennies for poker
or desperate bingo. Out with the lamps,
the bald carpet, the unruly cushions.
Out with the handwriting and broken chalk.
Here we are in a field with two sides.
It’s hard to decipher the crowd roar
when it’s peppered with lies
and has no bearing on the game.
Ding for breakfast, dong for lunch.
The birds in a cage have no ironic intention
but the larger map laid over it all,
thin tissue from which faint shadows bleed,
shows a fret of boundaries.
Whether lines or walls or holy ghosts,
narrators or snakes, stories or disputes,
evening gives way to complete night.

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