at first—pictures of your newly-deceased mother.
Like a spiral, winding continually around

an ever-tightening curve toward a
vanishing point, those photos

nearest her death are the most
dangerous—no smile, eyes

glazed as if no light
resides, only raw

fear mixed with
deep sorrow.

You can feel
the lump

in her throat,
what she

tried to

what you
are too.

~ After the first line of Charles Simic’s poem “Mirrors at 4 a.m.”