Sloan Asakura

In Our House

Morning Fog by George Grie

i collect ghosts–
.               occupy fractions of their space in return for
.                                                                                        warmth
any kind
.               incense burns each mourning
.                                                                    the air smells of black coffee mixed with jasmine ash
.                                                                          koa wood box and the photos watching me from the altar
.                                                                          stacked winter coats hung, never worn, crowd the hallway
.                                                         impossible to avoid calamity with wool with
.                                                         plastic market bags weighing white on your fingers

maybe those tombstone buildings never left my mind
.               their mouths agape lining the streets of Greece
.                                                                                           ancient
still mortal
.               like bones cracking through fire
.                                                                    i fear the same fate for us– dead amongst the living
.                                                                          i mourn before the burning
.                                                                          cry over bodies only sleeping
.                                                         the fear shakes me awake like a poltergeist beneath the bed
.                                                         my bones rattle with “what if i’m not here?” and “who will i be then,
..                                                                                                                                                  when he’s gone?”

but i wake each morning still
.               fill the coffee pot and know he will say “too strong”
.                                                                                           hold the moment
like a secret
.               in my sun-weathered palms
.                                                                    and the ghosts drape about my shoulders
.                                                                          my ancestral beads, each stone a life before mine
.                                                                          and we cry together over the peeling floral wallpaper
.                                                         over the emerald green carpet with the netting peering through
.                                                         wipe the tears off the table before he descends the stairs and says,
.                                                                                                                                                                “coffee?”


About the writer:
Sloan Asakura is a poet and memoirist originally from Los Angeles, now braving the Pacific Northwest. They have been previously published in Jeopardy Magazine, Rigorous, The Mantle, and Rogue Agent. Asakura is a founder and editor of MAWTH. In their free time, they can be found cooking comfort food, gardening, and contemplating persimmons.

Image: Morning Fog by George Grie (1962- ). Oil on canvas. No size specified. By 2006. By free license.