My grandmother’s house
counts her breath on one hand –
body barely held
by flimsy stone
and stripping yellow paint,
veined with brittle pipelines
and heaving ventilation.
Moss and a barren pine
raise phantom flowers to a garden
that bore fruit. Once.

Hungry neighbors wait for her walls.
We hear their feet tap
from inside her crumbling kitchen,
hear their mutters
over moans
from cupboards that don’t close,
gorged with enough
rice and tea
to outlive the finger-count.

And still she stands
as their bulldozer’s smoke drifts towards us
from across the paved road.