My Grandmother was Once a Girl

When you turn her hands over to reveal palms,
you will find death almost
pretty in tender holding.

If you turn them over again, you will find paper
skin, veins knotted with caducity.
Her face is a wetted dress

brought from the attic
to dry among the tall grasses,
her home

a reused casket
with windows to fields
to small holes made by

blind creatures
with curved teeth.
Will you tie me to you

as we descend?
I keep telling her, in my soft voice,
you were meant to be painted

mid decomposition
with colors of sallow,
not a young thing

to be found but the song
of birds hithering spring
while we hang mirrors

in the trees to watch
red cage mushrooms grow,
each hollow heart emptied

at the mouths of flies.