Clearing Out Space, or How Some Spells Don’t Come With Instructions

The sign called it a yard sale,
but it was more
a sculpture garden,
twisted mosaics of broken toys,
mismatched socks, stained wooden chairs—

and I thought I saw your eyes
pressed up inside a mason jar
so I stopped where I was going
to say hello.

They stared upwards,
jammed inside the glass,
and I asked what they were for.
A woman limped over,
gray hair frayed and fogged,
You eat them.

The blue one stared the hardest, the one
like you, and I remember
when you were dying,
how we would come to your body
to worship
at your hollowed face, to
place offerings in the divots
of your spine…

Can I touch them?
my hand’s in the jar
before she answers,
twisting the twined top,
pouring them onto my hands,
slimed little ghosts,
each a small visit
from someone who
shouldn’t be here.

She whispers a price, but
I am frozen, staring,
breathing the smell of vanishing,

I lean forward to kiss you, and
lids shut,

I swallow.