A Little Poem on Self Help

After she’d been left alone,
my mother had to install
a safe front door so
when she goes out she locks it
with a coded key
and metal rods
they fly into all walls.

The apartment is left alone
and nothing happens.
The rooms don’t sigh,
objects remember
nothing.
Only emptiness and light,
treetops behind the windows.

When she comes back, she leaves
the door unlocked,
she walks through the silence,
passes the desk
with her photograph on it

in which she
young and beautiful, in a cafe,
with friends,
discusses phenomenology.

Then she moves to the window
and peers outside:
down there
bent over, a woman is watering a tree
under the sun.

The tree rustles, the woman
raised her head and my
mother sees
herself.

(From “Exit Wounds”)

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