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>TIME OF THE OLD WOMEN

>after Goya

Forgotten wives; disintegrated girls.
A haunted coalition of swallowed
nights, and their days inert jewels.

Of course they are afraid: it is
their only beautiful thing. Deep

beneath their silk cowers the exiguous
outcome of a collapsing prognosis, and
their frowzy folds hanging anguished
and derelict. They have fragile

children, called Nostalgia. They are
yellow mostly, like jaundiced fog,
ungraspable and ruined.

The mirror is nothing to them.
It does not visit them with truth
any more than a painted bird
has a sweeter song, or a garland
makes a grave into a garden.

Their faces the wreck of a sour pantomime,
now is a time that they have not imagined.

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Previously published at Counterexample Poetics

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