Poem as Internal Model of Deteriorating World

- demens + -ia: Lat.; out of one's mind or senses; around 1806

In the late stages, there may be insistent
     anger, petulance, demands. You could fill
a room with ghosts smacking their lips, intent

     on writing their names in sugar spilled
on the counter. She'll claim there's only 
     an empty tent there, its flaps agitating

in wind. A spoon stirs quicksand into a cup.
     Moons dangle overhead: and by them, she   
is enraptured. They're so magnetic, her throat

     wants to be the river they drown in.
But they are like the lover one pursues from
     oasis to oasis, just as he slips away again

at dawn. Calling and cajoling, bird shadows
     wreck themselves at her unshod feet. 


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