I visited mother yesterday,

my eyes like backgammon pieces

just as sharp as the

black keys on that old piano

with its chipped corner that she still keeps,

I wonder why, maybe some miasma

of sentiment rises from it

and clouds her vision of now,

maybe it saves, I don’t know,

she’s frailer with wispy, grey hair,

and a semblance of a smile

gives her integrity

and keeps the clock ticking, I guess,

she asked about you. “How’s Emma?”

and I said, “I don’t know,”

nonchalantly, I drank a cup of coffee

and left with a half-hearted hug,

I wonder why mother remembers you,

only you, always you,

I didn’t tell her about last year

when I visited the ashen culs-de-sac

and crevices of the internet

looking for your poetry,

I didn’t tell her about how it

only made sense two years ago,

when I found myself

in that white hall of hell

where demons masquerading

as angels in pristine gowns

with spotless teeth sedated me,

I didn’t tell her about how father fake-wept

like a statued cherub

after sending me straight to

white chintz perdition

because I foolishly wanted closure,

I didn’t tell her about the blank-spirit

that seeps through bone

and bleaches marrow

these days, but worst of all,

I didn’t tell her about

reading your verse and laughing

after I left you in college,

you knew these broken truths of life

well before I did,

I suppressed things,

but you dealt with them using art,

I looked for you using that phone

that now looks like plastic,

but couldn’t find anything

except monochrome 

search results, I guess I took fate’s gambit

when I naïvely thought I’d mastered

the game and now the

queen of black judgment

and the rook of dark circumstance

pushes this dethroned

monarch into hopelessness,

a double checkmate, and

I’ll just have to let myself

be knocked off the board

after saying that I fucking love you.

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