Mother is anti-devolution, present past unfuture,
& we’re at that stage where eating spoiled flesh
is like going to Las Vegas—mercurial swim-
ming pool of naked bodies. Outside, cop is ash,
cop is unopened bag of glitter you take back
to Wal-Mart for a refund. What do you call a corpse
the ocean’s forgotten to bring back? So much
is layaway canticle, mended whisper, faux pas
de bourrée, braided feathers—it’s no wonder
Spanglish is caged thunder, oblivious certitude
of orchids. Believe the coffee grounds when they
speak of banana plantations. Before we left the house,
our mothers should’ve warned us of mirrors
paginated like bibles. The beat under the floor
invertebrate possibility waiting to blast, armoire
with dresses befitting queens, salacious cinderellas,
when we were laid, fist came before the egg.
Today, no broom is back-broken. Mother is howl
unshuddered slats. That moment when the diggers
can hear the infant cry of desperation under the city
rubble. We run for the exit, but we’re really running
for the interior kingdom of fossils, how tenderly
my mother paired the socks & tied them by the neck.
Woke up like strangulated terracotta empress. Woke up like
measled fantasia sewage. The goldmines are revamped.
We’ve defaulted on our loans. Self-portrait as co- opted ravine.
Dish-washing roaches in mold. This song has blown
piñatas, conga lines of those disappeared. Why won’t you gob
your empathy for this killing? We believe in mortal
flight & so our deaths are suspended, obedient escalade.
We rummage through Icarus’ bravery as if we weren’t ourselves
tumbling through the meteorological chaos of our ancestry.
I have stared into the eyes of someone with borrowed skin,
borrowed name, servant to the wrong verge of the river.
She knotted her hair to the strobe lights, as gaffs passed
her body undeterred. Later, she smeared her gloom
on the outside walls of the earth. Some will say
that is how history begat history. I’ll say
glory to fate’s incorrigible nature & towards which
we violently stroll.