a silver dollar from a box of silver dollars, and
books of catalogued stamps, too; and chemistry texts,
and anthologies of detective novels, and sunlight streaming from
double paned storm windows on to a record player and an
a blade of folded a steel leans beside a Spanish rifle,
purple silk drawn about it.
this too comes from 1945, after the Pacific,
in black and white Japan
where a tall man with a promontory nose
stands by an arched bridge beside a slight woman
with dark hair.
all the rest falls from a glossed photograph of that same man,
now in a black suit, with a doe-eyed woman in a wedding dress
hanging on his arm.
from them, him, came the files, the tax returns,
the insurance slips, and receipts, and batteries, and index cards,
a life filed by one, for two.
the room of silver dollars darkens with age, ripens with clutter;
the sun-browned, black-scuffed oak floor boards sat upstairs,
while below a man in his armchair sits, while a woman in rubber gloves with
a dust rag stands beside him, two fingers pressed to his wrist.
the silver dollar rests in my sweating palm,
in a hospital, we stand by a tall man, browned by age,
black hair aged white,
still as a photograph.