There are more cracks in the painting than I remember, it’s been over a year since I have seen it, perhaps the sunlight is touching it in an especially brutal way. There’s a party for her, she is 95 today, the same as the Queen I remember being told, but maybe I remembered wrong, I guess it’s easy enough to do. Her milky blue eyes flashed me in a way which made me feel like she remembered me, the words on the tip of the tongue but without the certainties of knowing they couldn’t roll off, instead swallowed. My brother is good at making this ok, he makes jokes that pierce the silence, like throwing a blanket over something, softening the edges. She likes cheese straws, carefully balancing one against the champagne glass, a delicate operation, everyone watches in suspense and silence as if it’s a sign or symbol. But nothing. I take her hand and look into her eyes, I just say ’it’s ok’, to try to ease the frantic searching I can see, trying to project calmness. It used to upset but now I don’t feel as much, I’ve mourned what’s lost, we live with what’s left. I go to the kitchen to cough.
Not finished but not mad about it
Here we go again
The moon under the kitchen sink