Poem Requiring No Apology

You say you want
to live to be a hundred, to eat
the food of the gods. You talk
to our dead the way you converse
with those who hover over you 
as they straighten a pillow, pull 
a blanket back over your spindled
legs. You sing in the same voice 
I remember; you slipped your feet
out of your shoes and stood 
by the piano after dinner, practicing 
the high notes then tracing their swoop 
down the octaves after the lover 
in the lyrics turns into the faithless one. 
Did you clasp your hands together
below your ribcage to quiet that 
other chambered fluttering? 
Those hands could pry the lips 
of mollusks open, and map a seam, 
and pull a splinter out of skin. I say 
electrify the air with your most 
imperious wanting. 


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