Mindy Kronenberg


I miss you cousin,
the one whose hair
is darker than obsidian, whose amber
eyes long for the light
to fill their chamber of despair.

At holidays you became
an apparition,
your reckless laughter
teasing candles, taunting
the decorous silence.
I miss the way you stayed
young without shame.

I picture the ashtray
you made in the asylum:
yellow tear-shaped tiles cemented
in a square, one black
bead tucked in a corner.

How the doctors grappled
with it! They hastened
to give you names:
paranoid, schizophrenic
manic this or that.

Love hardens in the throat
like a pill.
Where do we go wrong?
The years have compressed
your sadness into
a small dark seed.


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