Every time
our neighbors, strangers,
run ahead to hold the metal doors of the elevator,
when silver chair legs are dragged
on carpeted floors
at the sight of her in restaurants,

when she is lifted out of her moving seat
into a real one;

my grandmother’s moments of silence.

She stops
all conversations, stories
of her past, and knows only to stare
at her heavy legs, silent
even to her late sons and daughter’s
eagerness to stay alive in her words—

I never realized
how much she has lost
already, two sons and a daughter
in memories that want to slip
even further with her brown eyes
into the less laborious
blind-eye blues around the iris.

What does she, or I see
reflected the glint
of these momentary metallic surfaces—

the cold iron elevator door,
the impatient glimmer of moving chairs
and the wheelchair handles mirrors.

Is it her static lethargy
loveless silence, or
the portrait of her final loss?

About Jesse: Jesse Ko is a poet, an artist, and an avid journal writer. He grew up in three different cities—Hong Kong, New York City, and Bangkok, but New York is where he identifies as home. Jesse was recently teaching kindergarten in Bangkok for two years where he discovered his love for teaching, and now he is back in New York, studying for his master’s degree in art education at Teachers College, and being thankful.

Return to Issue 3.