My Little Sister and the Obituary Page
Lafayette Wattles

I find her    curled
    among the words
like a mourning “S,”
as if each     separate     letter
found there
   contains a life
or maybe, linked,
they’re like some bone-yard
fence—cold black iron,
staggering through snow—
   or the artless
finger-tracings of a child
in ash
   spelling death.

For some reason,
she’s captive
   to that page
as if it were a tomb
of broken lashes
surrendered     with tears.
But that’s the way
she is, riddled
with self-inflicted wounds—
as if her heart had been
by the spearish “l” she fell upon
in the line
“ . . . died at home alone.”

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