these heavy bones; 
a collapsed chair underneath the weight of my skin
furrowed over like a long, stretched sheet
over antique furniture

thick, like a blanket of dust,
this weight strangles me,
restricts my movement, 
constricts my breath

a pod of barnacles so long entrenched
they must be rent-controlled, 
a mark left from prior generations, 

an artifact of descendence, 
a symbol of dependence?
a gift? from my ancestors

and do i need them more for myself?
for my sanity, 
that grandma’s suffering 
came down to mom 
and hers is now my own

can forgiveness exist if memory does?
do they take walks together, 
and can they share
a cup of tea?

i look into the mirror again, 
my face feels pressed into itself
leaving a smudge and

the ones i must face, 
because i can no longer delay 
the passage of time

she sings zugzwang, zugzwang… 
and smiles with grace

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