by Jaimie Gusman
It is Tuesday. It is Sunday.
It is napkins and Windex
and garbage bags on Monday.
When I arrive the oven
is already on, burning
a place for her to stand.
She takes my hand,
puts it over her stomach,
asks me if it feels strange
and if I were to take a shovel,
could I get the illness out?
Could I help her dig it out?
I move my fingers up,
point them towards her chin.
I want her to open her mouth.
Get in my open gate heart,
get in my slow crossing heart,
let me corpse out your heart.
I tell her, whatever is in there
is blue and soaked and shivering.
Fay doesn’t say she knows,
but she knows there is a flood
in the Midwestern region of her.
She knows what happens to rivers,
that the depressing days will go on
no matter how the meat is plated
or how the dishes are stacked.
don’t ever let them kiss you there,
don’t ever let them turn you over,
don’t ever let them shut your eyes.
I take my mother to visit Fay.
We are sweating. There are no clouds.
I tell her to say something about the memory
of being her daughter, the purpose
of these stones and that urn
is just another word for mother.