Wild Edge

Between sex

And death,

Cecilia chose

The latter

And that was

Always

the music

That played

At my heels.




Sex or death.

Sinner or saint.

No in between.



But can’t you

See?

It takes a lifetime

Of bad memory

To untangle our

Legs,

Smooth over

The edges,

And no amount

Of “I’m sorrys”

Will kill the story

“You’re forgiven”

has played

On my heart.

Evolution

Here’s your

march

of time

and evolutionary

progression

but burning

your offspring

and tasting

the sharp note

of blood

when nobody

loves you

is like a sweet

reminder

that your

death

is the only

real truth

you know. 

Human

Gnaw me out

and watch my bones

go hollow

Then take

the baby

and turn her eyes

to the flutter

in my flesh

from the light

wind, “a breeze”

you called

it with your

hand doing

its puppet dance

the night

the moon

looked

Feral.

“No worries”

were to be

on my mind

or lips

so you could

sing your song

in my virgin

ear

when all parts

of a lost soul

are dirty,

don’t you know

that?

And don’t you

know the baby

has baby eyes

for only a moment

until her tongue

makes a muscle

and her teeth

take too gnawing

which is

the human

way,

like cursing

in traffic

or making puppets

of the ones

you love

most.

Postpartum

Nine months

to flesh you

out and then

I lose

my

mind.

But

I’ve

been

finding it

piece

by piece

until all

the edges

align.

Give

me another

nine, and

watch

the

lost 

socks

reappear,

and then I’ll

be smiling

happily

until

your cries

can

reach

my

ear.

When We Go to the Butcher

When we go to the butcher,

I’ll hold your hand so hard

my memory will seep

through your pores

and you’ll be looking

down on your little eyes

and little nose

and two lips glued

tight into a cherub’s smile

and you will hear my heart

at your ear

and the way it says “I’m sorry.”

When we go to the butcher

your father will be sitting

at my right and at my left,

an empty place where fear

resides, and if I could

be a something better.

we’d never be riding

in the first place.

When we go to the butcher

remember all those times,

but not just the good.

Remember me, a little

monster,

a fly off the handle,

hellish time of a girl

turned woman

turned something

turned and pickled

with fear’s empty space.

But when we go to the butcher

also know about my brave

little heart.

How courage is what lights

it a-thump.

And alights yours, too,

with my hopelessly

hopeful prayers.

The Rule Book for Mothers

Look,

this is the way

a mother should

be,

hair combed

and the teeth

slick from the minutes

it takes to brush

them

and showered skin

that smells

like apples.

And she’s never hurried

almost lethargic

in her sanguine

fashion.

The skin that smells

like apples

and the teeth

slick

to the touch

should never

have the harsh

scent of glass bottles,

old man’s Jack,

V is for vodka

or the ever-telling

red wine stain.

No, mothers

should be like

the time

I saw that woman

with the baby shoved

snug against one hip

And a happy face

clutching the other

And she looked

like a painting,

breathing,

walking,

talking,

through

Target.

And loving

those children

Like love

never comes

at a cost.

Like love’s

a drug you drink

until it stains

your teeth.

Or

Here’s what will happen:

You’ll hate me for a lifetime 

Or

A moment.

And I will visit you at the church 

where you work 

or in the prison 

near my house.

And you will love God 

or learn the world according to Satan.

And maybe you will have children 

or know the ways of an untrained womb.

And maybe you’ll be happy on your own accord 

or shear every inch of yourself to wear another woman.

And you will remember all my sins 

and stack them up against me.

Or you will love me 

and let memory rot 

and forget the day I screamed 

until both our throats ran dry.

Super Girl

She flew 

Into all forms,

A pecking order

That started with

My

Mother’s coiled heart

And ended in her unraveled

One.

And all my time has been

Spent braiding

And knotting

What’s come

Loose

And only

When I look down

Do I realize

The world has

Removed

My fingers.

Daughter


When we were on

The bridge

I saw our lives

Like a flash bulb

Light

And God’s

Great hands nowhere

To be seen.

Your scream was

Set to the tune of

My angry fingers

Seeking revenge on

A wheel that could

Rip us infinite,

Scraps of metal

And concrete

Like a beautiful cosmos

Built by no maker.

“Take her away” was

Written on my mind.

But I ask you now,

Who else was there

Elbowing out that inky

Phantom

And its silk-strung voice

And the bursting nebula

That lit my pupils

Like your smile

Lights my heart?

Little Bud

It’s budded

and blooms

at the most

unfortunate time.

And when people

look at you,

they think of church

breaking your soul

and society tangling

its fingers in your hair

and men kissing at your mouth

and women scouring you off.

But you, little bud,

aren’t evil. It’s just

an evil thing that’s

birthed, stretching your gut,

and we all have those things

that threaten to break through

and swallow

what we
are.