Another time after she left
I saw a headless woman
hurrying after her like a jaguar.
She pried off her red mouth
like a scar. My father folded the window
so that it fit inside his silence,
pulled apart starlight
with his teeth. Then he ate the fruit
of his own wreckage
until he was full, discontented
where he slept beneath a bridge.
The bones beneath
that bridge disappeared
around him, annunciated
My mother often told me
about her dreams
where amnesia chased her,
where I could see the handle of the shovel
for myself. I could see
where she had buried us or him, how
she had dug up the bones,
twisting blood & metal, as she struggled
with the flesh of memory.
Waiting inside of the night,
I could make out the mound
& her eyes, the blank embrace
of innocence when she returned.
It’s your turn, it’s always your turn,
the night says.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. Her fourth collection of poetry, Lighting the Shadow, will be published by Four Way Books in 2015. Currently, Griffiths teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn.