Poof, and it’s all gone,
in an egg mixture with seasonings
— lips thrown onto brown paper,
hot beast smiles we grab and eat,
exoskeletons detached from their flesh bellies,
moon shadows and French kissed souls snapped from their God given rights,
All the world loves a parade, a good meal, found money,
Oh, but to behold that face!
It was September and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
A time before things changed forever and life asserted it’s irrevocables,
became opposite day everyday.
How I hate that Pat told us the future that day, said he planned to die early and leave a pretty corpse.
How I hate that we just sat on the deck of our uncle’s boat nodding,
sunning ourselves between mile markers,
spent time talking about bee shadows messing up our tans,
liar, liar, pants on fire,
how I hate how funny became ‘un,’
how glad never regained her running momentum,
how time, just left out the side door,
after first hanging a forever picture in my mind,
slipping out the side door.
Paul told me, “Had a friend named ‘Congo’ once
— a man who lost both legs in the war to end all wars,
still made himself do leg lifts after his morning coffee everyday,
lifted what wasn’t there,
looking at me so I’d get it,
“The hardest, too much compromise, I guess.”
A new client texts me, “Things will happen quickly, shift’s coming. Things long forgotten will be remembered.
No doubt it’s the Lord’s doing.”
I send her a text, let her know she can count on me, let her know where the Christian right can go now that I’m working my new shoe job at Bloomie’s,
I text her bold, “’COME. Well-stocked 4 end times:
50-off Jesus sandals and Armageddon boots.”
Mid-April, I ask my gardener,
“Can I ask you to move the wood by the oak we just took down?”
Straw hat tipped back of his head, Frito greasy,
only hat ever owned, him standing with feet apart taking the agaves out real slow.
Sun, that time of day, hot, you know the one,
then I ask,
“Would it be too weird to ask for you to take down the Christmas lights?”
The narcissus did not bloom this year.
All over town, pale tissue fists raised on green lawns,
gardens too — white, yellow, orange.
nothing but stems.
The hundred or so I planted last Christmas with money my mother-in-law sent me,
nothing but green stems.
All over town, fists on lawns,
— white, yellow, orange, pale fists on lawns, gardens too
Green stems, stems, stems,
August sun, a bitter hag, even the mountains turned their backs when the great outdoors became an oven last week of April.
August, every month of the year.
The city, a lean factory, temps tipping past the century mark.
No a/c units, no fans left to purchase in big box stores,
the work of pushing cumulus and wind gone to where manufacture’s cheap.
Permanent summer, shade, not coming back.
I’m chillin’ shaking hash night and day ‘til I get my street cred back,
you know, get some reserves in the bank.
Get me sweet cheeks?
Times tough, somes got more doubt than down for fill, more druther than they can handle,
SUV wheels stuck on some coulda shouldas woulda hill grinding hope to a halt.
Tell you this much, raising kids like raising opossums —
doubt – the same – can’t cage what’s rabid, stir-crazy,
thems, moody mother suckers,
first things first, first coax the heart, then the mind, cross my heart,
the money will follow.
– Maryrose Smyth