You Visit as a Bird, a Hat
I am dreaming or remembering.
In the backyard, a flaming hysterical cardinal (or your red cashmere cap) kneads my scalp with tiny sharp claws, as if to burrow inside.
You tell me your hair didn’t “dissolve” – you shaved it first.
And the restapled fabric of the brim fills the air with the sound of someone’s questions, and seizes my knuckle with a greedy, peanut-shaped beak.
You are making that face again but you don’t quite have a “face”.
Knit circles in the shape of roses glued above the left ear, throat pulsing with melancholy whistles, a black riding cap slops about your skull, loose after chemo dissolved your hair.
I start to ask if this is the “ghost you” or the” real you,” then stop myself.
Sometimes I type, “you are I” when I mean something else.
Beside a two-dollar beret the pink of self-pity, a redwing blackbird lifts and swings into mist.