Degas' Cousins

Degas’ Cousins

Degas has two cousins

They are sisters

One is already shifting into death

the other is deeply resigned

How else can she respond to mortality?

They wear burdensome Rembrandt cloaks

which fail to warm them

There is too much disease in Europe

Hundreds of years have passed since  

Decameron hipsters fled the Black Death

and there is still too much disease

One of the healthy sister’s eyes is higher than the other

Her hair is parted like the Red Sea

There’s a locket at her throat

with a stone like a prune

The dying sister’s diamond earring

glints in the light

which grows ever dimmer

in this gloomy apartment

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Work by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois appears in magazines worldwide, including ARIEL CHART . Nominated for numerous prizes, he was awarded the 2017 Booranga Centre (Australia) Fiction Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and as a print edition. His poetry collection, THE ARREST OF MR. KISSY FACE, published in March 2019 by Pski’s Porch Publications, is available here. Visit his website  to read more of his poetry and flash fiction.  

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