We were always older than the parents of her friends.
Dorinda bore it mildly, practiced Czerny in the room off the kitchen—
When I was a girl it was Hindemith.
Clay is amazed at my recall for obsolescence:
Not the odor of digitalis but the disinfectant on the street car.
He is my largest living artifact.
I snatched him from 1952, stuffed him full of sofa cushions
And here he sits, a husband in constant repose.
His is the same soft face I used to stroke,
Grown no harder with the years but silky, pores shining—
I could clot it like a handful of tissue.
The Sonaten drift into the kitchen. Twice a day,
The ashes are disrupted, the flame is brought
To the pyre, and smoke drifts over our wreckage.
When I was a girl, the wealthy were always in Biarritz.
Now we get a house in the mountains, expand our lungs
With the essence of timber. “Take deep breaths,
It’ll do you good.” Over the years, I have understood.
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