Mom dismembered trees
in pieces she hid
in closets, underneath sinks.
I suspected
it somehow held
the house

Every shard
required its own kind
of geometry. Like Mayans
measured time with stone,
her cedar marked
the dimensions of her embrace.
I found cedar
in lunchboxes,
shoe boxes, toy boxes.

The half-risen sun
would find her
in the room
we only ever entered
to vacuum.
A book of prayer,
a ruby-brown wood
pressed to her lips,
there would be another piece
slipped somewhere
in the guts of the piano.

At night I slept
to cedar branches
shuffling in the yard,
a red smell
of slivers
in my pillow.