sweet memory of soil (poem #13)

My grandma died on April 9th.

Not sure of the year.

All I know is that a death rattle is real,

and that when a body begins to die, 

it eats itself.

Each time I’d visit, 

she’d turn more and more into a corpse.

Her cataracts turned her brown eyes

into a milky gelatin.

She never ate much, 

we always worried 

when she’d leave 

half her plate

of food, 

“you need to eat,” we’d say—

“I’m full,” she’d answer

Stomach cancer ate her small intestine.

She withered as thin as a wafer.

I’d watch her rub her belly 

each night 

before she’d go to bed.

The day before she died, she

called me over to her—

told me to get as close 

as I could stand it.

She was blind by then.

She said sometimes, 

small lines would form the shape

of something

like a head, 

or a smile

inside her eyes.

She wrapped her cold fingers on my warm face, 

kept them there and cried,

begged for my forgiveness

told me I was beautiful.

“I’ll wait for you,” she said.

I nodded in her hands.

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