Set before me is a meal of ice
and dust–odorless but filling.
It leaves a little iron trace–a
rancid aftertaste of rust–yet
it seems to be enough. I won’t
complain. Some things take a
little time to get used to–like
that smudge just out of reach
which wears a certain face on
an otherwise spotless window
pane polished to a useless shriek
by restless hands. Or a cupboard
door’s dry creak which suddenly
turns to speech in a language I
can completely understand. Or
floorboards that groan in a glacial
room where urned ashes walk
with weighted steps of bone.
Beneath the icy gaze of lidded
blinds shadows flicker like wind
blown candle flames that climb
the ivory-spackled walls and slip
into their seats and then recline
around the table. Familiar friends
we smile–take small comfort for
a while as we nod companionably
and slowly turn into stone.
Judith Borenin has published poems in The Raven Chronicles:Last Call, The Floating Bridge Press Review IV, Synchronized Chaos, The POETiCA Review, and Ethel Zines 3 & 4. Her chapbook, The Evidence & The Evermore, was published in July of 2019 by Sarah Ethel Lefsyk. She is also a faithful participant in open mic readings once a month in Port Townsend, Washington.