The old woman’s throat opens
after long holding in words, all the untold.
Something has been set in motion, a quickening
along the reluctant approach to death.
A bold curse issues. Accusation rises
in a dream of dark faces, voices
emanating from shadow.
To be special, unique in this world
– what we all harbor?
At worst to be spared the indignity of soiled diapers.
Returned to infantile.
But her shit is not sweet breast-fed,
her buttocks not smooth as peaches.
To our surprise, she is granted a long reprieve.
Night birds deny stench and sour stomach,
praise beauty. Still a chance
to clear out the cluttered closet, to embrace
the once-rejected. At last,
at ease before the arc of the unfolding.