It is true. I hated my father’s
reptilian toenails, thick,
ridged, battered, as if remnants
Of an armor plating that had failed
To protect him from the world,
And below that barreled belly,
those thin measled shins,
Spotted with their mysterious
Purple bruises, and his deep snoring
As annoying as the buzzing of a large fly
trapped in a tight room
That was my childhood
Recurring nightmare. I still remember
The day I looked down at him
Seeing for the first time
A small man.
It is true. I hated my father’s
One can never prepare enough
For such surprise visits as this
One that must have flown in
Through a window left open
By mother, or was it me
Or by both our common longing
To see the ones that we missed
At such a time so punctured
By distance and an unquiet kind of silence
Which weighs more than all the burdens
That keep us keeping our lives and loves
In a small clay pot,
glimmer of leaf
light from my bed-
I twist-tie the mother
to a toothpick
the daughter at her foot,
a miniature version
of her miniature self,
the succulent I almost
had not noticed hiding
I am lying, arms helpless at my side and sunk into the tiny gravity wells
Formed by ribs and hip bones, framed in this comfortable chair.
It’s only a nap, in a chair that is not my mother, its arms not my mother’s arms,
Yet I sense that I am upheld by love, and a poem runs through my sleepy thoughts.
I am aware of my hands cupped without care or purpose, at full useless repose,
And I think of marble, of a sculpted body eternally at rest, perhaps the Christ
Released from the agony of crucifixion, the artist carving his ahistorical palm
Wounds like lovers’ openings in a waiting corpse, tender lips traced through the Shadows of holy
My husband watches Ozark on Netflix.
I walk away to my laptop, tell him,
I don’t like any of the characters
and I don’t like the plot.
He can see how that could be true,
but he watches anyway.
The show’s been nominated.
Conventional COVID-19 wisdom says
the smart thing to do is stay home and avoid people.
We wait for a cure as hours of scripted
dramas flicker before our eyes.
it snows. Too early for snow but seasons change.
On the warm ground snow falls all day,
fat white splashes not quite like ashes, but
with a purpose, a quiet, eerie mismatch of
What for, why, how can this be.
There’s a hum. I can’t hear right.
This silence is deafening.
I hate snow.
A chainsaw sits near the door of my childhood home.
The door’s knob wore down and fell off.
The door forgot its name, is listening for it in the wind.
A pair of rubber work boots stand nearby.
They rub together, rattled by a cold breeze, a
synthetic scratch, scratch, daring me to enter.
The picnic table. My sister’s
vaporous hair. Neighbors
in their unknown clothes.
I’m wild in blue shorts,
striped top. My mom’s
in my sister’s body.
The tenants of the lawn
rumble their tongues
like little engines and tickle
my untouched ankles.
I run the path of planets
around the wild grass
between the grass
between our houses. My
arms make airplanes.
Father, my heart freezes
stiff as those chickens
when that slaughter truck overturned
in the blizzard of ‘78
and as I walked through the empty
snow world I kicked them,
feathers all over the road.
There is mother
in smoke and shame
hiding her face how the dead
know to do. Father,
her dark eyes hair skin all
a howl of rain.
Near the pressed powder next to the mascara the one packaged in pink she looks for Raspberry Rush. The cylinder brightens by the liner becomes beacon beside the blush where the concealer hides as the tweezers glisten atop 20x mirror. She removes the cap turns the case— ah, the scent of fruit and flower lanolin aluminum lake.Read more "She Applies Imagination in Times of Uncertainty"
Tuna Meow Meow 10¢ Off Checkout behind befuddled womanwho places one can Turkey & Giblets Cat Foodon counter, watches the scan,selects a Price Chopper couponthumbing through a stack in her fist.Cashier shakes her head: “Coupon’s forthe small size, honey, you’ve got the large,”tosses the can in a reject bag white plasticwhile Ms. Befuddle lifts a […]Read more "Tuna Meow Meow 10¢ Off"