“A Pair of Boots,” oil on canvas, by Vincent van Gogh, 1887.

by Angela Chaidez Vincent

The body is past tense.
It’s here, but
it’s already happened:
softened bones of the hip,
veins, branches blue with cold.
So I wasn’t surprised to learn
that dust is mostly skin cells,
particles of you and me
that float in winter sunlight.
Over time, a worn boot falls
to its side and the clock
in the shape of a breast
makes no more sound at night.
Dust covers everything
we’ve ever touched
as if to say, somehow,
it remembers us.

“Watching You Nap” originally appeared in Bellevue Literary Review.

Angela Chaidez Vincent writes poetry and fiction and has a background of livelihoods in engineering, mathematics, and programming. Her poetry has appeared in North American Review, 32 Poems, and Bellevue Literary Review, among others. She lives in Fresno, California with her wife, Lisa. Her debut poetry collection, Arena Glow, is forthcoming in February 2024. Online at angelachaidezvincent.com.