for Nic Sebastian
It's only the dull ache where the spleen
and uterus used to be; the omentum
scraped away; so much ruin. We'll take
the peace we can get; the clay we can work
with stiff fingers. At the end of the day
they are blue with the cold of Raynaud's syndrome,
and the silver rings take their tint:
more like sky than humanity.
Still there is a candle burning,
lit for the massage, and the warm terracotta faces
with lips pursed in wonder or surprise;
the fine cracks in an ill-considered glaze,
the circus animals for a grandson's birthday.
All these things are stubborn,