An Old Family Photo Wedged in a Drawer
Its right edge has warped us all
into the drawer’s inside seam,
sloughing the ink cells
of our memories into
its unbeveled gap
of gustless cabinet weather.
I stride into view, slightly airborne
on the photo’s raised left wing,
handing a bleaching sister to my mother.
Her back is buried in its seam.
Or maybe it is my mother pulling
her away from my reach. Who
gains, who loses, it’s hard to tell.
None of us pays attention
to the damage along our bottom border.
I did not know then that this
would be yet another moment
of transaction. That in the constellation
of my family, pinned against
this square, ink-black sky,
we were not stars reflecting
quiet light from each other.
But, rather, we were their gravity.
Only now, following each other
headfirst into a drawer gap
that my sister has already fallen into,
it is finally clearer, in what gray
has survived the light all these years, exactly
what it has done to us all.