Full fathom five Pilgrim’s mother lies
north of the old shuttered silk mill
where each visiting fourth-grade girl
was given a bobbin wound with floss
shiny and fine as a spider’s thrown line.
I have mine still, and the memory
of mulberries staining my hands,
the refrain of juice bright in my mouth.
At my mother’s wake, other gray faces
who’d worked the looms in rooms
so thick with thread that noon
was dark. Of her lungs is shantung spun.
A spider spills herself, shining, in air,
and beauty’s matrix is mucous and fear.