The chronologist who slid my years day-by-day
under scarves and bras in her dresser

close to her heart
the clutter of foibles and contradictions

distractions and delights that she alone attests,
is shutting the drawer

barricading the bedroom door.

bicycle bruises, the long winter of Pippi Longstocking
the first-prize watercolor's wide transparency

lines of opacity, the straightening perm
birthdays of dark chocolate

the boyfriend who died.
My footnoter of unannotated dreams

twists her face into the pillow's cheek
eyeglasses skew like a half-open double door

walk through, goods for the taking.
I make a date with myself to watch her sleep

when she stirs to nudge her,
ask where in her chronology is my birth.

Published in Gettysburg Review

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