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.