I want to say what was soft and saccharine
I’ve eaten from your marrowed honeycomb.
To the usurper,
a mother is already a ghost. I can see through
her translucent ears.
That makes me the weed
and not the desiderata. Daisies or lilies you won’t find;
everything’s already been milked. There’s no need to talk,
to put a bucket under the udders and pray for rain.
When a sow bites she might take
a finger. When it’s a whip-spider
she might take your eyes. She might add to her panopticon
your soft-brown telescopes. I have done this to you
and not given thanks. Mother,
the body you’ve given me has been mine over two decades;
I have used it to erase you
so fight back. Draw the angle like a scythe through time,
cut the first flowering of oleander bone
because a child will suck your sun and
I have only ever loved you in an excess of guilt
though you gave me many titles for the inside of your palm:
that back door into church,
my bristle brush, and snot rag.
You, sanctuary and sanity,
who cut the crust off my white bread,
let me lay across your lap.
We are both young. We are there now
We are there now at a time when you still sunbathed,
when you were not angry with my father,
before your hair was braided back for war—I am 4000 miles from the place
where you are more than just a word
and I cannot go to sleep in my heart
so I wet everything and let
parts of me disappear in the drain
and crawl homeward
greedy for the good earth
with your pelvic bowl sunken into it,
that draw from which you ladled out the small bullion of my life.
Mother I won’t burn
though you leave me on the stove all day.
Mother, I’m only water.
It’s okay some of it drains. Let us be famished awhile.
I want to feed you from my own mouth.