On a continent more prone
to dissolution than we once imagined,

whole states fall away, islands
drown, treetops jut from the water.

Even in a dementia so deep
she forgets where she is,

that mustache of hers, a quirk of post-
menopausal hormones,

lends a masculine sort of authority: she can’t
see you, but she knows which way to listen

to get inside you, disheveled
on the edge of her bed, her personality

extended, rather than clouded, like squid ink,
by a flood of confusion

surrounding every impulse. Elbow on her knee,
stroking her chin, pupils fogged, she can ask how are you

five or six times, and chew her tongue
and look through you, the looking

more powerful without sight behind it. You can change
your story as many times as you like. She still has you,

hair a plume of smoke. Neither of you suffer the indignity
of being seen.