THE CONFECTIONER’S HOMECOMING 

On the day you wake up
to find that all of the doorknobs
in your home
have turned to melting chocolate,

you will also find all of
the notebooks
you had previously filled
will have emptied.

All of the clocks
will have changed
to military time,
even the ones that wind.

Is it time for morning coffee
or dinner coffee?
It’s all the same when you
keep yourself up every night

pulling the nails
from your door frame.
Say good afternoon
to the stacks of mail

decorating your dining room table,
say a Hail Mary
as you rub your shoulder blades
up and down the walls.

Singing cricket songs,
praise hymns,
a day long waking up,
this journey of goodbye.

Your therapist
has you paint the word
grief
in cursive

down your body,
a takeaway order
of fried dumplings
and too many forks.

Tear up the carpet
in the bedroom,
lay down on
the oiled wood floor,

twist your limbs
into perverted asanas.
Your new favorite way
to get high

this winter
is to sit for too long
with your legs in deep eagle
then stand suddenly,

letting the blood rush
back into your head
until you see God.
But he never shows.

And you’re left
looking around
to find the nearest person
who you can signal

to catch you
before it all goes dark.
From down there,
you can smell

the heat burning away
the summer skin cells
coating the air ducts.
It’s winter now.

It’s winter now.
You’re quieter now.
You burn bread
on purpose now.

You always know
the phases of the moon now.
Grab the door handle,
small blizzard,

sticky sweet hand prints
that you leave
down the hallway walls.
Why shouldn’t his leaving

give you permission
to fully sink
into the mud?

You are well-scandalised now.
A tale told on
Christmas Eve
after the last of the wine

has been poured.
Warm spoons
in the oven.
Hold them

in your palms.
Put an entire
heirloom tomato
in your mouth,

and repeat his name.
Spitting out seeds
and communist-era
works of art

reprinted on postcards.
Litter the floor, poet,
with every last letter
you ever wrote him.

Put your heart
into a bowl of rice.
Put your hands
into mugs of tea.

You white-haired witch,
you don’t even know
what it means
to wake up

next to absence.
A dead body
of your own doing.
You mourn a life

still being lived.
Crush pomegranate seeds
between your thumb
and index finger.

Wait up for
the dream delivery man
to leave cartons of nightmare
on your doorstep.

Drip it down your chin,
stir it into your oatmeal,
let it go sour
left on the counter,

too long sitting in the sun.
You are technically an artist,
absolutely an artwork,
both the one who curates

the collection,
and the collection itself.
Today is not the day
you will remember

his mother’s recipe
for soda bread.
Today is not the day
you will fix the box

on the backdoor
Today is not the day
you will find the marmalade
you saved for

a heartbreaking Tuesday
such as this.
Perhaps, tomorrow.
From your side of the bed,

now the center
of the mattress,
you talk yourself back
into your body,

you talk yourself into
hosting Thanksgiving,
you talk yourself home,
poet.

Welcome.
Take off your shoes,
hang up your hat,
replace all the doorknobs.

Hang up four stockings,
all with your own name.
This is your home now,
poet,

invite in whoever you’d like.