She screams Read me! so imperatively
a cascade of chills oversweeps me, my arms
and abdomen profoundly hollow in the moment,
and though it feels to be a big hall surrounding us,
she and I are under the low-ceiling beams of her attic bedroom
her voice is not actually echoing off distant walls
but rather is muffled by all of the dampening accouterment
that constitute the mementos of her life, the momentum of her years
collectibles from seashores and places where calliopes played
souvenirs from dances and plays and carnival rides
photographs she vowed to savor and cherish
through time

Please just read it she asks, handing me the manuscript
and so I begin

Chagall 2018