To tell the truth, I have forgotten
which year goes with what.

My memory: as good as milk.
My family: spoiled through

and through. Pure as mold
on a September nectarine,

we refuse to announce defeat,
death. In this house, the margins

of mourning are tucked in,
pleated to the neck.

In August, my uncle dies
and no one tells his children.

He crosses his arms
in a blue suit in a coffin

where the ants
want in. In December,

my brother and I bundle up
for a storm that goes

through another town.
What were we preparing for?

My mother warns us:
beware of well-lit places.

Beware of fires burning
in the dark. If there is a spider

under your cup,
what will you do about it?