1,166 Readings

brandishing something

you’re no menagerie
or snort (no
kitten, hen, dog, or
cow), get the
blankets; our flight
is off proverbial shelves.

I was thinking on multiples
of seventeen, and where
the eggs have landed:
this one is likely on
the toilet again. another flings
her limbs away of an evening. the furthest
of them, heart in
throat behind a gun,
imagines a child
in her belly. she used
to tie a boot to her head
and save us two, atop the
Nordic Track. brandishing something
solid, not villain
or victim.

usually it was
a pool noodle. upstairs picking
stones from the lentils you let
us grapple for the
purple dress. put
bands around stewed
tomatoes, in case we went
blind. every day a lover, not just
october and january.

even then we knew to invite
confidences for chili
in the laundry room. we learned
to breathe softly around
people bearing loss. to make
warm, perpendicular sets of
swoops and parallels, to bounce
back from sheet-white and hewn
open to give
to the ones we love.

these things are not as
heavy as your beautiful,
pink kidney. but they
are not made of foam.

Posted 02/15/10
for my mother
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