Candles shrank the room.

We filled the dark with music

heavier than forgetting. The host

served cake in sixths while

children like bats chirped

over a bowl of spilled fruit.

I’m staring at a bowl of fruit now

while writing this and wondering

why Lynzie bought browned

bananas. Once my mother

offered banana bread as penance.

She broke a mason jar filled with dried seahorses

as a token of the anatomy

of the human heart, or maybe

by liberating the dead she hoped

to liberate herself from old age.

A week later she gifted the bread

to the owner of the jar, saying

“Praise Jesus for victory over...”

then forgot the rest. I try to complete

that sentence whenever I wait

at the top of water slides or

walk through underpasses

but each time I feel my words

slip away like balloons in the night.