I hung my wedding dress
in the attic. I had a woolen
shoulder to lean against,
a wake-up kiss, plush words
I loved to stroke:
My husband. We.
You hung the portraits of your great-
grandparents from Stuttgart
over the sofa: boiled collar,
fashionable shawl. The yellow
shellac of marriage
coats our faces too.
We're like the neoclassical facade
on a post office. Every small town
has such a building.
Pillars forget they used to be
tree trunks, their sap congealed
into staying put. I can feel it
happening in every cell—that gradual
cooling and drying.
There is that other law of nature
which lets the dead thing stand.