from How to Disappear.
To Whom It May Concern:
My mother has moved into her room at Nouvelle Gardens
where her window, overlooking a quiet courtyard,
distresses her. Please provide a city view
with the clatter of pedestrians,
traffic, a car horn. Place the sunflower quilt
right side up on her bed, and light
the room with the matching Van Gogh print.
We must rethink the bathroom, too, the shower seat.
How much more of her life can we give away
While malady whittles one memory, use of an arm?
We forge one house into a tiny closet, her love
of fine China traded in for paper plates,
bibs, and a Kleenex stuffed into her sleeve.
We hope she can still wheel herself
to the window to look out,
but the wheel chair might catch
on the bed post, or she might
not be able to push. Please check on her.
She likes blintzes, and once in a while,
could you share your rugelach?
Please fix her cable tv, tune it to CNN,
daily, Anderson Cooper, her boyfriend.
Remember, missed opportunities will swarm at her feet,
while she sleeps on the thickness of fevered pine needles
aware of the world in all its Weltschmerz,
and her escape into its invisible music.