I wake up knowing
         the lines in my face
will deepen
         and extend,
into chasms.

And that, soon,
         these bones will burn
to dust, to dust,
         all these mere memories

like the remnants
         of my wisdom teeth,
in that stolen purse’s front pocket.
         Now —
nail me to the ground.

Keep everything
         from coming undone,
unraveling like the friendship
         bracelets fraying
on my wrist.

Like my grandmother’s
         reason post-stroke.
Now —
         like beets I try
to be grounded,

root myself to the place
         at the table
where only I can sit.
         And as mustard blooms
from the body’s

lungs in the dry dirt
         outside, I inhale
deep, feel the change,
         take the changing season
into me.

Despy Boutris’ writing has been published or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Journal, Prairie Schooner and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast and Editor-in-Chief of The West Review.