Money for the Dead

And they collapse into themselves,
ten wrinkled women,
their curled salt and pepper hair
pinned under black kerchiefs.
Faded floral blouses
and black trousers.
Gnarled hands reach for
gold and silver paper
in a heap around a red candle.
Jook boils on the stove and
folded money burns
a white, wispy river,
gently swaying on its way to Heaven,
twisting like a young woman’s back.
The old widow remembers
when he used to run his rough hand
up the small of her back,
gently tickling her sticky wet spine
hot from cooking.
She sends her money with a prayer
they will be young together again.

Talk story

  1. teter says:

    "Guest" is right, Patrick. Take a shot at this (though I think it's pretty damn good as it is). Say hello to Porland for me; I barely remember her.

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