conception / coronation / cremation / desecration

CONCEPTION

Everything is in its right place.

The wound is a butterfly, wrapped
in its cocoon. The boy is a
blackbird, the boy sips morning tea
the boy gleams in his morning glory
the boy is the muse. The boy
writes, the boy
sings, the boy
in his father’s image
the boy is formed.

I am a wall;
or rather, the image of a wall. The
wall is paper, and so am I. The wall
is fiery red
Slashed
with knife blades and
so am I.

The wound is a butterfly, the
boy is cake, mashed
potatoes baked
in olive oil and smeared with
Arabian soil. The boy is
mine, mother screams with her
head in the kitchen sink. She is
dressed in pajamas and pregnancy and
the father, automated, wakes
up. His hands and limbs collide
and he carries the house on his
back. The mother vomits buckets of
sociopolitical commentary when she hears
Communism
for the father is a liar
a cheat
a deceit of a human being. The
father is a wall; or rather
the image of a wall. The wall
is made of brick and cement
and so is he. When walls shake
they break
and so does he.

Mother?

Mother hears, mother wakes
mother wants the boy
for the boy is a rare gem. They
camp in father’s new car which
he bought because he lost
his job. That is tradition here.
The neighbors visit
while the boy sleeps
Awake
and they run their slimy fingers
Across
the shiny new smooth new silver
of the car and
the boy wakes
crying. The neighbors
walk away.
They are building a new house
in an acre of land in the
suburbia of their heads. The boy
is a table with four legs, the boy
carries himself across a room
with ease
as would a table
stationary. The boy feeds
as it would a chair
and the chair responds to new stimuli
Immediately
Imperfectly
in its own way.

 

CORONATION

Mother
I am in great pain. I
have grown legs to write with but
on wobbly knees
and my handwriting comes out
shaken
stirred
illegible
illegitimate.

Mother
I am my own man now. I am
a wall; or rather, the image
of a wall. The wall is underwater
and it cannot swim
and so I am, drenched
in my own liquid, soggy
like the undergrowth of a fungus
eliminate me. Who are you
to step into my morning shoes?
To prepare my morning tea, or
to own my morning glee? You
are distant, you are
a morning sunrise
and I am the onlooker, the
bystander. I carry a
camera that prints photos of you
instantly and I
turn
to show you one
of yourself
but by now
you own the sky rightfully
in your own right.

Mother
I wear my crown
like the so many men
in their own homes
that the wives make
from corn. I drink my milk
and you must drink yours, too.
No good woman has ever been
who has not drunk their milks. Mother
this land is made of yellowness, this land
is etched and sketched with skin and
bile, this land belongs to you and
these other men
these other men who stand with
their clothes to the ground and their
hands to their mouths so that when
the earth shakes
their flimsy genitals shake too.

Mother
I cannot sing. My voice is hoarse
and pained. I am moving home
tomorrow night, and my furniture
joins me. My table walks beside me
like an insect that follows the leader
of its horde of insects because
the leader carries
a half chewed apple
a morsel of brown sugar. Mother
I cannot cry but my skin burns
and all around there is only
misery. The wife and the children
all sleep
Quietly
and I stare at them
into the suburbia of their minds
and I am estranged.

 

CREMATION

A boy dies when a boy must. A
mother cries when
her only boy succumbs
not to disease
nor to pain
nor to misery
not to dukkha. The boy succumbs
to poetry
like his father before him, and
mother knows
that words have the power to hurt
especially when they are screamed
to a body whose ears are swimming
and they fill with water and they hear
nothing but mumbling
to a boy whose shoulders
tiny
are part of his neck and
his chest is joined to
his feet. Mother knows
poetry is a cave
and I am its vascularity
from the outside
like a body sufficed to be
seen with the eyes.

 

DESECRATION

Bisfot!
Drown with me, mother
drown me in my own sleep, drown
with me like father before me
for I
for everything being in its right place
am darkness.

Bisfot!
The boy is a blackbird
calm, modest
but I am not. I am a hummingbird
an insect of a bird
and I fly backwards
into and out of the intelligence of your soul
mother, puncturing it, destroying it.

Bisfot!
My veins flood with alcohol
purified by the strength of my
lungs. How functional it is to live,
mother, I must say; how functional it is
of the woman to give life. How beautiful
for the man to wiggle his genital in return
in gratitude.

Bisfot!
My arm is thirty nine years old
porous, my mother is dying.
From my room I walk through
seventy thousand different people
dressed in their morning gowns
I blink
and they will go away.

 

Painting by Mary Cassatt, “The Child’s Bath”

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