States of Decline
The room is dying honey and lemon rind.
Soured light. My grandmother sits in her chair
sweetening into the blue velvet. Domestic
declension is the window that never opens—
the paint peeling, dusting the sill, and inhaled.
It is an american love she lives in,
my grandmother, rigored to televangelists
and infomercials. Losing the use of her legs.
Needing to be turned like a mattress.
No one is coming for her. The dog is
asleep in the yard, Her husband,
obedient to the grease and garlic
in the cast iron, salting her
death in the wind house.
Copyright © 2019 Taylor Johnson. This poem originally appeared in The Paris Review. Used with permission of the author.