Two cellos’ cries, in unison,
like anguished souls hov’ring
bound within their haunt,
tarry and lilt in this harrowed air.
The lamp is dim and idle,
casts its yellow hue upon
an old photograph on the end table
whose thousand words are questions.
You would not know by visiting here
there were a missal on the shelf,
flanked by vague philosophies and
the diary of a woman mystic.
In tattered leather binding,
printed on thin leaves like starched silk,
there is, according to rote,
some unintelligible answer.
Next to the dusty Virgin
stands a shadowbox. Inside,
among the gray and worn artifacts
we’d found within crumbling plaster walls,
still filled with tiny white tablets,
an apothecary label marks this small bottle
that seems to wink or nod sometimes
toward the end table.