Your building
is an early 2000’s monstrosity.
Mini palm trees and cultivated grass
embedded in studded concrete,
sweat stained balconies
a spit away from the diamond exchange
where night brings out
prowlers in business suits
and lambs paling in leopard print.

Your building has an electronic directory
and an empty echo of an atrium,
a harbinger we missed.

In your apartment
your mother is draped on a blue towel-covered armchair.
Across from her, the fridge is stacked with the best
sandwiches in the world.

Down the hall,
the ageing, real round sink
is poised below
a mirror with burned out bulbs.
Your face scrubber,
suds dried, lies in its resting place
beside your comb, time tangled in knots.

Your room,
a shelter of reinforced concrete,
is shuttered.
Your bed made,
haunted by your grandmother
still growling at me not to put my rucksack on it.

At the edge of your desk,
by mounds of books and neat papers,
a framed photo
you never put there.
You hate vanity of any kind.
Next to it the only letter
I wrote your mother,
two pages of blunderings
when you always prefer brevity and colour.

Flesh-coloured marble.
Three teal words.
Shira Michal Dabush.

My quivering fingers
strike out
as I whisper to you
over the yahrzeit candle
the only words that matter
over and over.



D’or Seifer contributes to poetry gatherings such as FilΓ­ an TΓ­ BhΓ‘in and Over the Edge. She co-runs the online series Lime Square Poets. Her work has recently appeared in Skylight 47, The Galway Advertiser, and Lothlorien Poetry Journal.

*A yahrzeit candle is a candle lit in memory of the dead in Jewish tradition.