Their pale foreheads flower with memory.
Stories spill from their hands
As they sit in sun-splashed chairs,
Bodies stiff as paper dolls,
Heads drooping like silent blossoms.

Their empty eyes are fixed like the glass
Eyes tacked on tightly to the blank faces
Of painted porcelain dogs.

Language has left them, has tumbled
From its shaky limb like a drowsy bird.

They sit patiently now, a line of blackbirds
Balanced delicately on a trembling wire, as day
Swallows day and sways toward ever longer night.

Like trees long settled into place, buried
Deeply in a sarcophagus of roots, they neither
Shift nor move.

A row of Elgin marbles set fast in a frieze
Of age, they wait patiently as their mouths,
Sewed tight as a trouser seam, crochet
A smile of sorts.

Only the fingers move, delicate bouquets
Of butterflies flitting, in a lengthening
Darkness cut sharply by a slender scythe
Of moon.

They sit, swaddled in secrets and marking
Time with a silent stick, their eyes clinging
Tightly to that single narrow rope of light
And waiting patiently as it frays.