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My Mother smells of hazelnut
from the food market
cornering Castle Hill and Dracon.
Coffee grounds and
a scent of sugar and of fire,
burning underneath her kettle,
in her hair
in her blouse
underneath her fingernails.

In the back cafe
they sit,
packed tightly in brown paper
on the lower shelf by the register
that dings twice as it creaks open.

Sometimes the dust collects
in thick strands and
gets caught on a dragging shoelace.
Until someone’s dog eats them
or the wind pulls them free
and you watch them relinquish,
they skim the ground.

The beams on the market floor
are thick with gaps,
and sometimes they slip down
and stay there.

The sun pours in through window curtains
like pretty gauze
in rays of oblique dim yellow,
thin pleats from a dress she used to wear,
and someone sees them
and sweeps them.

Today I miss her and
I walk to Castle Hill and Dracon,
making sure not to let the screen door slam like
other customers do,
to the back through cluttered aisles running
my fingertips along
cereal boxes and jars of jam.

I stand in dust over gaps in beams
in front of the lower shelf.
The smell of her and opaque strands.
I want to breathe them in
and pick them up
and entwine them in my fingers
and wear them around my neck
or over my face as veils and
feel her hands upon my cheeks
as they slide to the floor

when someone sees them
and sweeps them
away.