Your steel silence forms my buttoned breath,
slammed shut like the empty drawers upstairs.
Downstairs, the cupboards are full of your secrets,
vodka bottles sprouting between the bowl stubs and
toothed plates. Ten years gone and there are
just some random photos, settling like the loose change
under the passenger’s seat. Everything else is set to mute,
like the off-key promises that boomerang until smashed
into nothing. These are things that I want to tell you—
it’s your turn to locate the suspended ladders
and bring them against our dungeons. Take them to
the kiddie pools, to drown, baptize, sleep.
Let everything die quietly, in the beds unmade,
like your apologies in the afterword:
a ghost’s history that awaits night after night
to lie down deeply.
Dorsía Smith Silva is a Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Her poetry has been published in several journals and magazines in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, including Portland Review, Apple Valley Review, Stoneboat, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice, Moko Magazine, and elsewhere. She is also the editor of Latina/Chicana Mothering and the co-editor of six books.