Mother, does dust
live on anything fictional?
Can a rat
rot in a motorcycle wheel?
come in spoons?
change composition when it’s stale?
Can a child
of the Internet be happy?
Why did I yearn to combine lives?
To tag him in pictures
in the sphere
where nothing speaks?
Where animates feign
Mom, do you think love
can bring redemption?
Did you gain quick dominion
When did I start to love him?
It was like pushing a car from a swamp,
but what I poured in was not oil
it was madness.
For months after we met,
he’d hesitate, appraising my face
as I ripped open the mail, or teased
a dollar oyster from its shell.
He’d bike home and recede into
a screen, my day-old joke unseen.
Fervors overripe, I’d squeeze him
out my ears, re-acclimate to my own
orange waters. Then he’d
re-incarnate in a shining swell.
“Hello!” his message glowed.
I’d permit myself a grain of hope.
To grope the length that worry
takes to pearl. Perhaps I’d been
too much myself too soon.
Trailing raw, sopping need.
I’d tell him: “No pressure.”
Do the women
in our family have a history of unease?
Do we stink of ennui?
At wakes, when old ladies embrace us,
do we return the squeeze?
Do we resent our bodies
because they cannot hover,
or for their flatulence
and sighing in their sleep?
Do we bicker with our sisters
on the phone?
Do we keep our husbands’ secrets,
or distribute them like sweets
By the bedroom window,
in our night-gowns, do we linger?
Do we scan the shadowed backyards
for a figure?
He stood in my kitchen
eating canned peaches
opening and shutting like an eye
All week I’d thought of him
crushed out sweats heart palps
the whole works washed the pans
flicked the lights switched the music
shook the rug out Then he was there
with acid mouth and violet tongue
his face a bare bulb
the wine going down down willing it