Your hair was the color of pearls,
but I didn’t think they were real.
I couldn’t admit to the ash
of your skin, its porcelain pose
on saucers of graves.
Two long days beside your bed.
A cradle I pushed but could not rock.
My eyes were grabbing renaissance.
I knew it but I acted blind.
You warned me of death and its salt —
how oceans are garnished with thirst.
You taught me how to rope and rise
a baby grand from dining rooms
of buried ships — and still I
painted ivory keys of fingernails
neon shades of busy lies
with no respect for waning light.
A wish was stepping on my hands.