Not Infinity But Only a Fragment

            "Inwardly I am hard and cold, there is no glow
or fire in me, but if I am struck by fate, the
sparks fly everywhere." ~ M.C. Escher, "Flint,"
from XXIV Emblemata, 1931


When it rains the world is inked and grainy 
           as a woodcut. I'm trying to figure out 
where ghosts come from and what they might 
           be trying to remember, now that they're 
from a different world curved at the center, 
           flaring outward then inward like a looping 
dream. So long ago, a woman, a friend of my mother's, 
            took her life at our kitchen table. I don't know
what they might have been to each  other. Only 
            the smallest thread of story remains, 
though I try to imagine the coffee cup, 
            what it held of poison; what kind of night 
it might have been when it wasn't enough to strike 
            one stone against another, use up match 
after match. I consider the porousness of borders—
           a fringed shawl of cold you can wear 
in the middle of a heated room; an inside-out 
           glove where a love note was written.  
On a table, an orb inside another orb 
           reflecting objects in the street but tilted 
sideways, as if each were taking its leave.        

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