I Ask for Stories
Elizabeth Glixman

There is cleanness to your voice
It cracks quick
windshield glass lining a congested highway
A teddy bear watches cruisers arrive
stuffing blown in wind
Gray hairs and prescription
to keep the levels of fluid in your body
are on the table close to your hands
that write the dates of events in the air
Balanced on the tightrope of veins
you don’t want to implode
No one could bare to see this happen
unless you were dandelion dust or yellow
Sharp as a whip that tears
Your voice cracks does not falter it
tells me
how I should live
You are no different than all the fading people
in the photo album in the hall closet
I have not singled you out for dirty words
The closet is damp
Holds particular dates like my birth
I bought damp rid to change the tear level
sponge the excess of emotion
from the walls
I saw uncle on Atonement Day
He is smaller
could fit into the opening in a slot machine
gambling and loss
Still he tells the old stories
about Mindick the butcher
who ate the cracker at mass thinking it was dessert
thinking it was just a delicious wafer to be enjoyed
followed by that sip of wine
Mindick he laughs
Stories are dimming
the purple night sky is pink
There is nothing more to forgive
the passage of your forms
Smaller than uncle
Float by flesh turns inward sinks
I ask for the stories
If I had known you would disappear
I would have asked sooner
before the brown spots appeared
before uncle was so thin
the wind would blow him
off his chair
Even when your shrill voice is silent

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