on the anniversary of her dying, the candle for her flickering down stairs, an eerie light like the arms of someone drowning. In the mirror my body seems to be trying to catch up with her, as if stripped to the bone it would be sweeter, close. I’m in a house that doesn’t seem like mine, though my clothes are in a closet. I want the smell of her, as Napoleon carried in a locket the violets that Josephine always wore, taken from her grave. I take the Joy out of the drawer where it’s nestled in flannel, and it slips from my hands, as she did, smashes on white tile, an explosion of glass. I try to soak up the gold juice like someone at a murder trying to sop up blood. “Shit,” I yelp, but only once, as if I’m in a church or synagogue. Or because of the day. The bottle could be me, ragged, in sharp pieces, empty, holding on to what is gone. The pale chemise reeks of jasmine and roses. I take it to my old house, where once, when we fought and she said my clothes were slutty, I held my breath, wondered when things wouldn’t always be this way.