I dreamt about my uncle's death last night.
Not about my uncle. He was already dead when the dream started.
Can you remember something you have never seen?
Because I saw the room where he died,
where Mum and Gran found him a week after the hand
dropped from his lips.
The dream was yellow and the room was yellow.
In this ten year echo I could see the back of the high armchair,
and his hand. His hand with yellow smoke clinging
to his fingernails. It twisted at their once-white centres
like a nebula of egg yolk. The hand hung over
the chair arm. The fingers were stiff and twisted
like a wind-warped tree leaning over a cliff.
And the hand had a sixth finger:
a six-days-extinguished cigarette.
Its unholy ghost still hung in the air
like a shroud.
As I approached the chair I heard my grandpa's voice ring out:
"Thou'lt come no more, Never never never never never!"
And I stopped, my gaze caught on the yellowing parchment
of the wallpaper. I remembered all the letters my uncle never sent,
and all the letters the rest of us never thought to write.