All Souls’

My husband lies beside me
            like archeological time.
(The word husband
shimmery as a new purchase,
still chafing a little in my mouth.)
I love you I love you
we say to one another.

Somewhere in another country
skulls have been spun from sugar.
I would I were an orange, a peach, a palm.
                      I lie on the bed, a living thing,
a raft on this side of time.
The afternoon a meadow.
I lie here like the tongue of a bell.
I lie here like a coin, new-minted.

Underground my grandfathers lie,
not even coins on their eyes.
                      But today I am alive,
and generations-to-come mill about
like crowds on the street.

I peer at the future ones
as from the window of a tall floor.
Like me they paddle lonely as an orphan.

I am a woman speaking
from the crumbly past–
words slipping out from the cake of time.

I want simple advice to give you.
I would seal myself in words.
I would be clear, and whole as bread.

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A native Houstonian, Emily Bludworth de Barrios is currently a student in the University of Massachusetts MFA program.  She also teaches writing at UMass, and serves as an editorial assistant for Factory Hollow Press.  Her poems have appeared in (or are forthcoming in) The Found Poetry Review, Emrys Journal, Belletrist Coterie, Goldfish, and Sight into Sound.

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