Making Breakfast for Ghosts

There've been a string of visitors
lately— grandfather again 
in a clean white suit, flexing
his butterfly knife over the neck
of a plucked chicken. Father  
not done fingering endless
rounds of prayers on rosary
beads, in a tufted armchair 
by the window. First mother, 
tipping a spoonful of pepper-
corns into cookie dough
and tucking some kind
of blood into the stew. 
While everyone else
is still sleeping, I get up
to lay out plates, cups 
with faded gold trim,
mismatched silverware.
I don't want to feed
the living. Or at least 
not set a place 
for them at this table.

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