Year after year
images encrust,
forming alluring skins.
Eyes are glazed with paint,
immersed in places
that I did not create.

When I leave the earth
I will know
the colour of death.
And after chafing my hands on rocks
to uncover the texture of their pain,
I'll wrap them in
tissues of quotations,
whispering their many voices.

There will be no fanfare
when the secret substance of grief
begins to infiltrate my being,
only fragments of despair
torn from another space.

For centuries
ghostly waves
have moved through
my island,
calling me names,
suffocating my beauty,
razing my appearance to nothing.
But at the moment of dissolution,
when every molecule of my remembrance
the shroud will diminish,

will mean being left
with only
ashes and air,
certain angles of self,
and the disintegration of surfaces.