Oma’s face was the moon of her dark room.
In the morning she slept late until I came
to bring her tea in bed, a napkin, a plate
with toast & cheese. Slurred she’d say, So soon?
& raise her body—stolid, languorous whale—
from the sea of dreams it had been swimming in.
Small waves, her purple curls licked & lapped
the shore of her forehead. She looked pale.
I held her sweaty palm & kissed her hair,
which smelled of soap, food & saccharine.
She’d feed me her bread, then absently bring
the teacup to her lips. It took me years
to realize that the pearls beside the bed,
inside a glass, were all the teeth she had.