They left by force

Doors to abandoned houses
swing on hinges.

Scraps of washing still hang
on the line.

The pattern on this curtain
is native to this region—

Yellow and vermillion braids,
tiny knots at intervals.

Crossed threads in one corner
mean some ceremony like a wedding.

Do not defile the air soaked
with moonlight and their marked

absence with useless questions,
with remonstrance, with lies.

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