She was raised when families ate their shadows, washed down blood with cold whole milk, polite as folded napkins in a row. I hear her swallow catch when I ask her how she’s feeling, her same old chirp it is what it is. I clench my words even as I watch her lose herself, a book stripped of pages, a hollow cover. It’s happening the way it happened to her mother:
she will be unbound. Every page will float down the river.
Before she sits across the narrow table, I tuck a moth’s wings like a note into my pocket and the name of the moth is longing. There is an antiseptic hospice bed. A nurse’s hand is turning down the sheet for us. A cracked egg, blue as truth, falls to the flattened grass from the nest of a bird made of glass. When I turn the egg, a churning mass of maggots has drunk the yellow yolk.