Among mammals

Two waist-high jars by the door,
small hulls of frosted glass

carefully detached from a lamp
fixture. On the shelf, a pair

of short lidded boxes: one marked
Sugar, the other marked Flour.

I listened to the woman in the armchair
tell of her walk on the shore last week

and of the beached calves she came upon—
How the water kept licking at their grey

linen forms out of habit. I asked
if they were dead. She said of course

they were. And then: But I don’t know—
don’t they frequently need to surface

in order to breathe? She closed her eyes
then, said she was tired. I cleaned the sink,

wiped the table, put new sheets on the bed.
I tried to move as quietly as I could.


In response to Via Negativa: Bedding.

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