How does one begin to speak of things

No one wants to talk about the woman
in the upstairs room, how she saves
every last scrap and item that has

anything to do with her former life;
how she has come down, as they say,
in the world. No one wants to deal

with the tirades, the obsessive
hoarding and impulse buying, her stubborn
insistence that thirty umbrellas on hand

are ideal for emergencies. Does she
remember the year she refused to be
alone in the kitchen, the evening

her friend came to dinner, took a sip
of coffee then fell dead on the floor?
The leathery heart swings around on itself

like a revolving door. Someone’s here to scrub
the tiles and carry out garbage. She can’t understand
exactly how things aren’t the same as before.

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