My Grandma's house is bulging with the deaths
of old birds—funerals the past few days, 
she calls to Uncle Julius. Proof is in
the programs: half faces among her mail
that poke out, are composed of grey-white hair
and wrinkles birthed in Mississippi’s Jim Crow womb.
Whenever ninety year olds turn to dust,
their children fly two hours, underwhelmed;
the congregation dines and sings, exudes
whole hymnbooks. Afterwards, the house will fill
with styrofoam reminders: the boxes
of meatballs and spaghetti, yellow cake,
and ziploc bags containing wings like bricks,
thick slabs of breading. And they only come                            
with death—in cracking grease, the deacons mourn,
but me, too.
                    I can taste my grandma's folk,
vaguely familiar. I acknowledge them.
I come to church on breaks and let them rise
out from their pews, stroking my hair.
Just weeks ago, a woman hugged me, asked
my height; I didn't know her sun had set
until I saw her picture over lunch.
Her memory's buried under heating bills.
She leaves her sons; I leave bare bones behind.