“the materiality of mourning”

i’ve been rolling the title of the exhibit

around in my mouth for months.

the words are a chipped marble,

smooth, round, hard and cold against the back of my teeth,

cutting the insides of my lips

eight months with these four words before today–

on this nothing day,

this sunny cold sad sunday that finally found me face to face with

ethereal jackets,

ghostlike and painful,

chairs crumpled in defeat,

drawers with memories drowned in cement,

raw petaled shrouds cast off carefully, like old skin.

and

so

much

empty

space,

heavy with violence tightly wound into art,

heavily guarded by museum staff who warn

please, not so close.

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