White Flag

I took the old woman's mouth,
sagging and frayed,
from the face of the person
it once was, and with
shaking hands
I tied that mouth
to the corners of my window. 

A grimace
stretched between two hooks, a tongue
lolling around at the back;
searching for something
but finding only dirty glass.
The skin around the craggy mouth
bleached and faded to nothing.
A white flag;
an admission of defeat.
I hoped you would see it from the garden and
come back:
it was all I had.
I waited a long time
and the lips
discoloured in the sunshine;
a grey mould
grew up from the bottom
- the place where the chin
would have begun -
in delicate patterns.

The wiry moustache,
perched like a bird 
above that hole of a mouth,
bristled in the breeze
(it was waving to you)

and the very same draft that
escaped the crack in the wood
whistled through the room.

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