My Great Grandmother in the Kitchen

She watches me, her transparent face reflecting in panes of glass, echoing in gas stove smoke. Her laugh: shifting stacks of drying dishes, a whisper of black hair falling over my neck. I feel her next to me as if one hundred years could fit inside this kitchen, as if the floor were tiled with winter after winter and I could walk across them into the empty corners where she once stood. I see the red curve of her hips in the mirror, dream her blue butterfly’s dress swirling in the dust of midnight phonograph.
I only have stories of her feet pounding on naked earth, of her blinded children running through a jungle humid with bullets—this history draws these words from hidden shades of red caged within my breathing body. Blood is an almost-miracle that way, how it stretches across centuries, oceans even, to fill the empty seats at our tables, reverses the forward passing of time, chasm of memory, to stare back at us from inside cracking mirrors, to help us take that first step. Then the second. Then the third.

Image Credits: sunshinecity