before she died 
my grandmother ate everything.
living as a coat hanger.
so much empty space. i met her
for the first time it seemed
with her hands full of cream.
she held spoons like crucifixes.
grew a three-hair beard 
& stroked it. i was too young
to understand her cravings.
the kind of hunger that laid dormant
for all her life. 
remembering how when i was small
she would point a finger 
to stomach & say to my mother,
"they eat too much." watching her
cut her round potatoes into half moons.
living on half of the half. alone 
in her apartment what kind of desire
crept from corner to corner?
living with us she stole brownies.
moved on to eating whole forks
& tureens & soup ladels.
as if by eating them she could
regain all she had given. 
a sudden shock of need. the world
had cubes of sugar lined up
to make the horizon. we let her eat
whatever she needed. picture frames then 
& the images inside. her daughter 
& her daughter's daughter. her husband
long turned into a nest of roots.
did she think "all mine--finally 
all mine"? was it enough?
she died three days after it snowed.
we had to use steak knives
to dig in the frosted dirt.
the whole time we worked she laughed
& ate her last pieces of jewerly.
a stirng a pearls. a golden locket.
a cat-shaped brooch. 

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