that’s what friends are for
the prettier the heftier the brick
in memoriam thank them all
the brick . the fist . the fingernails .
the foot . thank them for this foundation .
distaste for an eye color no one asked for
how many times the careful aim of bottles & kick balls
wore out your vision . gratitude for their heavy brutality .
the overhead of jovial slander . how the overheard . minor string of
compliments gifts your gums that copper tang . pretty equates to malice
careful now . don’t let them hear you say thank you .
the prettier the stingier they share now & laters or lemon heads
accept the clinch . the slow loose long-nailed apex slither
who can be trusted
in tribute horde their smiles . their gropes
the rooftops & basements . thank them for your celibacy .
to make sense or make it go far away
who truly there for you?
count on a single hand the times embrace
a kind snuggle on sand under the moon . countless rescinding of
for fear of assault . pretty is push over
cute is a bruise between two wholesome holy alleys . an arcade
& candy store .
leave the clotted blood on the hands of mean girls
quiet now .
nestle nuba :: she nigglet :: she native nurturer :: she nightshift noose
she imprinted impromptu
gout gonna get granny golly ginger snaps peach schnapps pepsi & vodka
on the rocks in a tall glass :: hauntings halt holier SROs ::
she heard happier herds hiccup :: handled hocks she heavy hammed
on pineapple rings :: she pressed to brown paper scribbled numbers
for Mr. Sugar Daddy :: pray she’d be potential contestant
on the $ 20,000 Pyramid
tied truths on pinky :: the merry monk :: weepy wee wee :: sex ed. ::
push of a button :: Chuck Berry’s ding-a-ling sing-a-long
ain’t she something :: or thumb :: weepy pisses real straight ::
to tremble terrible traits tuned to wars
over an unpolished silver fork :: turnt ‘tis to taste
tinctures transfer Miss Liz’s scent of mothballs her turtleneck ::
preschool taunts thrift ::
till Bible school test scores rewarded Baptist peppermints
rock rebels repealed :: she repelled reek
she rustled feathers :: ridged fedoras vermelho ::
soggy raisin bran :: an ancestor an auntie an argumentative ::
i am all their apparitions :: i am all absolute
dozing under the danger of head scarves & matted wigs :: rum
insular impulsive :: the intoxicant is indigenous :: is outcast ::
:: is ward :: run ::
nuclear naivety nestled near nativity’s nectar ::
naturally all black outs are nightmares ::
all the hypertension all the gout
that kidneys’ done lost interest
mommy told me to keep mine
the donor list like playing the numbers
“one day I’ll hit it straight.”
did she expect me again to do the right thing? hurry & hurl
again & again onto stretcher volunteer be champion
be there being is tiresome being to be here
ain’t she watch the Brady’s? middle child done grown selfish
ain’t got but one unscarred kidney my damn self
ain’t my fault for arterial plaque
never blew SSI on the horse races
did not consume weeks-old fish grease
from rusty condensed carnation cans stored & storied
like this ain’t young or restless or some stained number slip that match
gender reveal confetti trashed north of the Meer
still these eyes brimmed in cataract chalk what remains
is the bright snuff steady on slippery sites
to consider what her heart admits to
daughter, don’t look at me the way second-year residents read charts
can’t be just another lost cause let me hit it straight today no combo
matzo ball soup
my mother memories ain’t mild , might move
most mixed , most managed , most motor
abnormal effect the syndrome & another absence alternates from nulled
to negligent .
a nonverbal nod of nos nahs nopes
issues gots issues is u es is . sue
mountains is i ssues i got ish es asuntos
safer stench . she should shake higher spectrums ,
soften enough so soldiers southern & syrup shoulders
suck it up . should stand stern should nothing signal a spiral
screw cells save schemes so sincere she swaddling
sooner can stop something soothing stop spinal scans stop sobbin’
save severity for y’all sensational simpletons
conditions can cause critical collisions don’t get it all clouded , chile
a crocodile took pity once
extremes of me . example . end it .
woman . weeks w/ weight whole . kept while wines winter w/ worry
thunderbird , trouble & tested . things these tasks taste of .
from trouble water throughout
trying , you’re coded tangerine Cisco .
trite . true .
at seventy-three mother has her first mani-pedi at a nail salon on Broadway. she is more concerned about her Victory Wheel scooter outside the salon than selecting a nail color. her scooter is hot rod. as is the lipstick she scoops out w/ a bobby pin. irritated, mother demands that daughter sit outside w/ the scooter. daughter can’t monitor or buddy. the gratification of a good deed: tending to mother’s toes & fingers is a joke. she pokes her face inside. there’s tension in her mother’s brow. this was to be a nice surprise for mommy’s birthday. pampering. in a huff, mother chooses – or was it the daughter – a golden bronze to compliment her complexion. next year it will match the gold Dutch Wax wrapping the mother’s locks in a white coffin w/ gold handles. before that, returning to the mother’s home near Central Park, the eyes twinkle w/ a smile. mother shows off her manicured fingers. the fingers strut in the air as she announces how daughter took her to get nails done. nothing about the fear of someone riding off on her scooter. mother giggles. a little girl for the first time in a nail salon w/ her mother. what she never had. what she never offered. what other reveries plagiarized.
booker t washington jhs 54
misty gorilla mountain mead covers .
us tweens undecided ,
notes in cafeterias .
lips greasy w/ jemima syrup or Vaseline
gloss cost whispers so she say blip . peered cackles near boiler room
ask for bathroom passes . hallway monitors mark the absence
tableau vivant . sizzling cracklin’ lobe etched from scorch
easy bunnies eastered on three-ringed trapper keepers .
pandas . rain forest or bamboo rulers .
loose pleather leaf belts knead this needy
nearing assault near lead paint . & Satana the custodian always broke it up
before damsels swallowed
petrona will you play w/ me?
which wonders the origin of his wheels
how they withstand the whiff of golden lochs that stand on street corners
or that’s the point. withdrawal between cars. near navy mailboxes.
whiplash we girls grow accustomed to interrupts even our crossing guards
guards are down. there, a lone old flaccid familiar in his Caprice
chirpin’ like a starling. say hi to your sister for me.
corner of 111th. checker sets mined from the trunk
assembled on carboard n milk crate. near curb. orina de oro.
or maybe it was a Mazda 323. or 626 Coupé. itching idle rocking
he’d invite us (no, me) for a ride. inspection of cut-off jeans insisted.
won’t it distract your steering?
“I’ll give you a dollar.” the ride had a long nose. was grey blues.
smelled like plastic. smelled moldy. grown-ass men piss so public.
loosie limp lids like larva like liniment lethargy. see the girl
as slow, lonely, or needy, on the same path as momma.
delayed. slowed. he drinks drowns his deficits in wonderful secrecy.
just a ride. that’s all. drawing disorder dangling decades of dillydally.
hush. silly honk sit down. hurry. relax in course. lucky she ejects.
the invasive has haggled his hands near a hand-sewn hem.
he calls me Petrona.
had someone ever taught me to hinder & howl when stalked?
always Petrona. never remembers my name.
affixed to his checkers. the underhand passing of dollars. every year.
the stench of a yellow drip on his slack
hi Petrona. say hi to your sister for me.