My mother is best kept sideways.
My mother fits inside a baby tooth.
My mother is mountain.
She levitates the Pentagon in 1967.
Wakes up the White House at 6am, chanting:
Hey, Hey, LBJ! How many babies have you burned today!
My mother makes masks out of clay, feathers, & twine,
swallows antique bone buttons,
rents an unfurnished dollhouse,
hides under a horsehair wig.
She’s a nude figure model, a hot dog stand manager,
a census worker, a gunslinger in pirouette, a single mater.
She buys our sneakers at Star Market Grocery,
hocks the piano, gives away the cat.
Her dead ex-boyfriend smelled like bourbon & pine.
My mother studies modern witchcraft to learn a few tricks,
grows rhubarb & lemon balm,
hides her gray with Nice ‘n Easy,
the shade called Brunette on Fire,
ignites a Merit Ultra Light,
can’t hear my knock on the smoke screen.
She quit years ago, the boomerang now blooms in her chest.
Her heart is molasses in a burlap sack.
Her lungs are used envelopes, torn & burned with the old letters.