Counting

Ransacking closets, I come up only
with legacies of questionable value.

How are such things to be written into
a will? Dried sprig; five leather buttons

with a lattice pattern, saved from father’s
sweater. A necklace of tiny colored beads;

its pendant of etched carabao horn affixed
with brass bells. I used to know with certainty

where I’d kept the dried stumps of my babies’
cords. Who is watching over my shoulder as I trace

the faces of the long dead in photographs?
Smell of all perishables; a seed rattling

in the heart of green fruit on the tree.
Here are paper flowers with mouths wide enough

to hold votives— They can drift for a time on a blue
surface: forgive me for such little stores of light.

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