In my family, a silver cup
               is called a goblet.

               A room with books, however small,
               a library.

I had to wait for this—to wade through heart attack and heart attack
and heart disease, brain tumor and old age, the mysteries of the
body flung back on its own tongue—a new language that doesn’t
use e’s or t’s, that clucks and purrs in place of the perfect “what,”
the perfect “gee.”

               Does it matter if I talk
               to myself
               (only myself)?

               You never cared before.

    And why did I ever
    leave you?

                   Love, you never left me.

You formed my lips like the mother wrapping silk bands around
her daughter’s feet.

               Now, we are bound
                   whether or not
               I speak of you
               or you of me.

In my family,
rules proved nothing
but our rulelessness.

            No streaking when company is over.

            No smoking pot until you’re thirteen.

            No shooting BB guns at the neighbor’s windows,
                               but if you do, we will lie and say you did not.