In Our Unexpected Future; The Carcass Coat’s Journey; Dream Strawberry

In Our Unexpected Future

Love-sadness prances across the flounces
of peach-gowned women in old-fashioned portraits
as an anniversary presses us toward them.
(Stick-stick: the sound of your cane tip on marble.)
All their agitated longings and fears
pulse through ruched necklines, palpate
in taffeta waistlines, outliving their societies,
pillars and palaces burnt in a blink.

The painter disrobed their dreads in clothing,
uncomfortable ruffles of hopes that billow below
such careful faces, their moody moods hiding
in folds of silk, surviving silk—

for frocks outlast pillars. But feelings
outlive frocks. The immaterial storms through,
a force beyond years (a mere two since you
were nearly felled). It isn’t what happened that lasts.
Not art, either, but the savory core. What’s felt.
We relish your reprieve as if we’d licked all
the way through the paint, leaving wet marks
to vanish from gowns long gone (but not).