• The house where she lived
    grew cold after she passed.
    I can only imagine the intense heat,
    blinding, sweaty stinging in my eyes, of the crematory.
    Now, I sit by the gas fireplace and
    get a chill down my fragile spine
    as the skin on my back heats slowly
    I sit and bake and think of my mom.

    The primer is still on the walls of the entryway;
    her Martha Stewart attempt at interior design.
    I stare blankly at the line where she stopped,
    the blinding white juxtaposes the melon green,
    staring back at me as if to say "This is when that
    tumor debilitated my arm."

    I can feel the cancer when I enter the door.
    I can see it on the walls, and feel it in the air.
    It stinks of emptiness, loneliness, death,
    making it easier to weep.
    The cold, white kitchen-tile stabs sharply
    at the balls of my bare feet.
    I feel dead all around me in this morgue
    and half expect to see frozen bodies:
    eyes shut, skin cold and damp
    in the drawers
    where my father now keeps his knives.

    The bedroom is the worst by far.
    Walking in, I imagine the mortuary in MT
    where I had to view my grandfather.
    The carpet was a deep burgundy and
    matched the backing of each pew.
    Row after row, the pews with all their hymnals and bibles
    gently led me toward the front.
    I marched manditorily and tried to avert my eyes,
    but his cold, dirty, blue skin froze me still.
    His hands were swollen
    from the embolism.
    My father grabbed his hand quickly as if to
    catch him from falling deeper into death.
    He thurst this hand in my face, but I only
    winced and stared at his suit: neatly pressed
    and freshly smelling of mothballs and chloroform.

    Nearing the waterbed where my parents slept,
    and made love that one night I walked in,
    I want to see my mother,
    cold and pale.
    Her urn distracts me.
    The shrine my father has made scares me.
    Her ashes are so close to that bed and
    I feel nausea seeping through me and
    it feels like the disease.

    Our house feels haunted, but its not.
    She cannot be a poltergeist, and phantom,
    the urn is sealed tightly
    and filled with ash.