Family Tree Shakes

I can’t explain the hues of helium, the whispers
of chemicals floating through amber floorboards.

Creaking whispers, though we aren’t listening,
thump-thumping, though we aren’t breathing

the way our father told us to: It’s all in the ears
his timbre voice lines the crown-molding of the house,

but the foundation has disappeared. It’s all in the
rotations. But when my knees and ankle are cracking

I can’t blame the candle sitting in the corner, dancing
in its own glow, can’t grasp saccharine scents of wax

to strangle against shadows on the walls. But we keep
going back to the cemetery of our fathers and turn

graves upside down. We can see the feet of the
underworld, this way, we can still grasp pink

toes, washing feet and roots we lost along the way,
praying they won’t disintegrate into the earth for good.

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