still life | horde lament | a poem bearing arms

I was dragged into wardrobes

clothes smelled of us afterwards

hiding places, different worlds,

o u r

l i t t l e

s e c r e t

I was delighted

part of a tradition


I was playing

on your serious rock bottom


your composure and daily routines

softened your tortured face

and I ignored the moving images of the past within you

distorting your bitter body

and trusted the man who gardened religiously

who made the house smell of coffee

who got up so early in the morning

I never saw the ghosts he assembled at the breakfast table

staring into the blackness of his brew

the knife cutting into the cold hard butter

dying around the blade

mass grave, salt mine, casualty, blanketed bread

knots in his mouth

smiling at me

something’s wrong

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

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