R. Erica Doyle


i stand quoting shadows
of all the things i could have done
life dismissed beneath this red leaf’s
brilliant death
winter breath and stone harmonies
send out subtle radars to

come and predict the weather, like

we tore the tissue and read it
under the lens
too late to save our mother

if only we had that one machine
that turns everything back
and if only we had the map
my bleeding palm describes
and if only i could smell
disease like a rat

(but, instead,
how the house smells
like her dresses
and her sighs

how my body
is the map
of her body

the curve of our foot
just so)

this season i stand with palms splayed
forcing encroaching walls apart

the wizard behind a curtain

of regret