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What makes you

A girl of an era, your era

Never to go back, to days of stillness and infernal din

With memories like scars and stars on her back

Trying to become yourself, fitting outside margins

What makes you

Stare into the still bath water

And see no reflection stare back

When your feet grow callused

From running down the highway at night, high on the allure of escape

This world and its myriad cobalt treasures, tinkling in distant solace

And your fingernails are too long to pleasure yourself in the loneliness of marriage

What makes you

Hearing your daughter turn like a clockface away from you and shut her door

Already a mimick of your own teenager fury

Growing colder the unbled radiator hisses her discontent

And your twice baked hopes, just a yellow mirage

Like last year’s jarred rubbarb absorbing color in their condensed glass

While the mockingbird echoes all the stains you try to scrub gone

Mighty elephants tearing trees in fitful gallop

Don’t hold it against yourself for the secret need to

Be scorched by the lust of a nameless body

Turning the fruit bowls upside down, bruising pears

Knocking dignity from the table, losing your footing

To be gobbled by your uncombed sticky frustration

Stringing her unfertilized seeds into honeyed pearls

Rinse yourself of guilt and shame, the hour has passed

To pretend we’re not all longing for the same taste

Covered piece of ourselves before the descent of ritual and plucked

Meat waiting to be cooked and eaten neatly at seven

With a full bodied Cabernet and fine erthenwear the color of sunset

The badly washed underclothes of your trembled longing

And our error in taming this wild circumference

You rub your thumbs along the groove

Candles sleeping in the truth of their waxy burn

Once when not so long ago

How then now you do not know

Lift yourself from the rut and

Jump into space, letting go

What makes you

Decide death a better bed fellow

Pulled back by your scalp to read the inverse riddle

Than …

Than all you used to believe

Before

Yourself of now and the loss

Of more

Lingua

Show your tongue to me

Let me tell you

How you are

Roll up and discover

The underside

Where panther unfurls

Too hot in the sun

We wear our outside smiles

With blisters hidden

Connected in swallow

Board a bus, get out

But the breath will know

Shallow 

Deep

An ease in this hope

There is clear air ahead

Just breathe

Away the false

What cannot be spoken aloud

A sore throat is never 

Just a sore throat

Make believe

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Like kids in the playground

one pretended to be sensitive

though she threw stones

the other professed hardness

though she was made of rubber bones

the middle child

didn’t know how to play with others

she tore the stimens of pink flowers

that were yellow and heavy with pollen

rubbed it on her palms like mustard

hoping it would transport her

away from cruelties played for sport

by those broken by life growing as weeds

by the onslaught of fumes from passing cars

a toxic perfume for those with enough lead

she was made of water

they could throw her

into the sky and make it

rain with regret