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When you Dream of the Dead

They always wear perfect versions 

of their younger selves. 

My grandparents call out, oh, here she is at last. 


The table is set for a banquet — this is not a wake.

Dad is by the hearth, encouraging ash back to life. 


I’ve never lived in a house that held its heat

I tell him, unable to say I miss you

in case he recollects his death.

He’s distracted, can you hear that?

he asks. Somewhere in the house

a child is crying. Find her, ’he says. 

Take her with you when it’s time.


When the door opens, he looks expectant. 

I see a shadow of the presence that’s followed me here, 

that follows me everywhere. Somewhere a requiem plays 

and everyone in the room plays dead. 


I will not look.


~


The sea is the colou

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