—after Casper (1995)
In Friendship, Maine, in the mansion of Whipstaff
I waft in eyelet lace, floor-length out the steamer trunk.
There are steeples and myrtle and my dad, who says,
’Night, Bucket, Mom who said, Stardust in the eyes, rosy
cheeks and a happy girl in the morning. She rinsed herself
with ivory soaps. She didn’t go where she was supposed
to go. Dusty star anise, eyebright, the rosarian says,
good morning. And you, what were you like as a living thing?
I’d like to make contact. Can you hurt me? Can I hurt you?
Slither with me to the Lazarus machine, primordial muck.
I’d like to see you not see-through. Can I keep you? Earthy as a
cabbage rose—my woody perennial, my mortal slow dancer.