In Gdynia, the old ones believe
the dead return as birds.
All night death has been dragging me by my hair.
Congregations of birds
waking in the complicated arms
of the willow
try to console me. Christ,
they are Pollyannas
with their songs and omens.
They forget who they are—
my lovely aunts with berry-stained lips
and Midnight perfume. My darling uncles
sent off with handkerchiefs
bleached and stuffed in their shine-worn suits.
Listen. They are trying to divide the light,
to unravel a truth.
This much I know,
even with wings they cannot help me.