the ghost of my grandmother made a trifle 
& set it on the porch for me yesterday.
by the time i got to it there were
flies in the whipped cream on top 
& worms in the custard. layer after layer.
where did she find this glass vessel?
whose kitchen did she commandeer?
i have to empty the sweetness out 
& so i spill the contents 
in the mealy ground.
stray cats gather, oraphened 
& licking their paws. all cats 
are keepers of family trees. they know
where i came from & who left
the trifle. i ask them
if they have seen my grandmother
& they all look around 
as if they hadn't heard me.
once, my grandmother made
with same trifle for my first communion.
i wore a white dress & i pressed
my hands together in prayer.
you can teach a child to do anything
if you call it holy. i wonder
where my dress is now--
all our little dresses
lining up to place god in our mouths.
when was the last time
a man asked to be put in your mouth
& called it holy? i apologize
i'm getting away from myself
you want to know about the trifle.
it was beautiful & glistened 
with berries & whipped cream.
grandmom stared at it 
like it should never 
be eaten. on our plates
the layers muddled together.
spoonfuls of cream & sugar & 
sharp strawberry syrup & hunks
of shortcake. i know she will
leave me another one tomorrow.
she will keep coming 
until i dip a spoon in the layer
& sit down on the floor to eat with her.
the truth about ghosts is 
they are everywhere but only 
every once in awhile does
a desire spill out of them.
i tell her she needs to leave
the trifle right as i come home
from work & she claps 
in approval. i wash out
the glass container 
& happily, it vanishes.
i put a bare spoon in my mouth 
& listen to the creeking floorboards.
the stray cats lick cream
from the bushes.

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