by Kevin Pilkington
She was staring the way a novel does that no one will ever open….
I learned a lot about hunger
early on. It was the way cancer
ate, always starving, feeding on
my grandmother in the bedroom
down the hall from mine. It was the last
month and the only time she lived
with us. I was eight and whenever
she moaned and groaned out loud,
I knew it was feeding, gnawing
on everything it could get its tumors
on until the night I heard nothing.
So I walked down the hallway that stretched
like taffy and slowly opened the door.
The bed she was in looked big as a ship.
Her arms were thin white bones lying
across her chest — a pirate flag resting
against the pillow. And she was staring
the way a novel does that no one will ever open,
no one will ever read again.
Last updated October 07, 2022