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by Danielle Jacobowitz

Dear Ophelia,

I dreamt of your grandmother
last night.

I framed her face
with wood from the river,
crushed by the weight
of someone lithe
and white,
still in the steady ripples
and wilting plants.

A clumsy child's
attempt at dignity,
her pink tongue
stumbling upon words
barely able to stand
on their own

Once they fell past
her pristine teeth
and the inappropriate swell
of lips
wet from drinking river water

I watched her sneak
behind the old school
with tears
on her withered cheek

She threw a dead bird
into the air
and again

willing it to fly.


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