Friday

Deconstructing Mother

I.

Beginning

She shook off Perihelion
one strangled afternoon
in a perfect gnash of gears;
a dirt burg south of Bakersfield
so hot Hell shunned membership
and so did she; flipped a fed-up

finger at the Mediterranean Cafe,
dried-out dive where simple sallies
ply pussy for promises and warm
mescal; they snickered behind
spidery hands as she played her
crafty ass flush on that final

fuck-all score and when
the heat rose like fetid smog
she yanked it loose; scorched sand
with a stripped-down skyline painted
horizon blue and raced the devil
to Babylon in a fifty-nine Ford.

II.

Middle

Mama got implants
the year the Sox traded that lousy southpaw,
because she wanted her audience of one
sorry son-of-a-bitchin' bricklayer to pay
more attention but it only made him tease-
he said they made her teeter worse
than those jade-colored juleps
she was constantly sipping because she thought
they were so couth, so uptown Savannah

but mama always did wear
her avarice on her pink velour sleeves;
even bought parquet-patterned linoleum
for our rented kitchen floor and when
the son-of-a-bitch caught that last caboose
to Birmingham one hot July night
she woke us all up; put Percy on the box-
slow-dragged us around the black and white,
her breath like mint against our upturned faces.

III.

Near The End

When mother fucked the mechanic,
years after accusations fell and nestled
into pastel carpets, along eggshell baseboards,

she led him in with coffee in a bone cup-
took his coat, his hat, his hands;
laid him down on pink nap beside a cracked

leather sofa that stank of rum, of shalimar
and hip on hip they rocked; wrung doubt
from shadows watching behind papered walls

while we watched Peyton Place upstairs,
while the calico in the window watched rain
patter against a pearl-gray sedan-

its hood up, opened like a secret.

IV.

Last Look

She takes martinis in the morning,
three jiggers to a pilsner glass;
spoon-stirred because shaking
bruises good London gin, every
Barton's baby knows that and then

she eddies angostura down the
crystalline well, arid as a nun's glove
because vermouth is only wine,
never was anyone's secret recipe
and besides, she's been to Trinidad;

danced slick-skinned on Tobago sand
while island boys watched behind
hidden eyes, swinging promises
between twitching flanks and now
her days are dry, the nights dusty-

so she drinks martinis in the morning,
three decades to a pilsner glass.

2 comments:

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

I love this one! Amazing!

Some day people are gonna find this blog and see how fucking brilliant your writing is!

The Lettershaper said...

You're very kind to say that!