A Mother's LetterDear Son,I'm afraid it's just as badas was reported -that your Uncle Sven has been deportedfor unspeakable crimeswith the neighbor's cat.Also, you should know thatyour fiance was found undressedwith your sister's boyfriend, Fred -no one but the family knows.I hope this letter finds you well.Oh, I forgot to tell youthat your father has to sellhis gun collectionto make bailfor Uncle Tim,whose chasing tailwill be the death of him.And your sister, Alice,has grown so thin.We think it's all that herointhey laced the Girl Scout cookies with(it's just an urban myththat they're a leftist group).Your Auntie Kate has found a hobby -collecting body parts in jars(we hope they are not ours -your brother has been missingsince last Wednesday.)They had to have your cousin, Gwendolyn, committed.She'd been appearing so dimwittedlately at her joband there was that messy little incidentinvolving her and the company president(something about a prostitution ring in Mexico).
ShroudShe weaves a dress upon the loom,her neighbors knowing it's a shroud,window dressing for a tomb -she weaves a dress upon the loom.Forbidden fruit has scarred the womb,a stranger's face amidst the crowd,she weaves a dress upon the loom -her neighbors knowing it's a shroud.
The Killing SeasonThe killing seasonis upon us again -our sons gone underground,our trees become weaponsand the last bloomof our youthlaid bare by carrion.In town the menall ask for cigarettes -the nicotine on their breathstalking new preyas it mingles in the streetsand tries to lookindifferent.The women wear handkerchiefslike bandageswrapping their heads;and from the buildingsstream white flagsand sheets,warning the childrenthere are vacanciesbelow the surface.Our housesdo not recognize us -we leave the doors openwhile the windows lookdisinterestedand the gardens starve.But we shall collect woundsthis harvest -roots trapped in soil,dry husks in cratesand barrels by the scoreto haul to market,the slender barterof our dreamsa final afterthoughttreading on our tongues.
PomegranateHer kissesare not like wine.They are more intricateand mellifluousthan that which blotsa poet's lipsand leaves his sensesdulled.They are not like honey -the morbid sweetand clinging flowof thick and amber lightthat tangles uphis tongue.Instead, they are likepomegranates,richly redand dense with juice,their flesh pulsingon my lipsand that darkdelicious memoryof Eve's final wish.
Milk CartonThey found youon a milk carton,a stone's throwfrom the tarp leftmildewing on the pool.Your face was sleepyand they did not recognizeyour shirt.Who dressed you that morning?Who gently combed out your hairand zipped upyour yellow bootsso you could squash puddlesin the garden?Mother will tell storiesto the empty bedand pretend it is your shadowplaying on the wallAnd father will waiton the porch,praying the lightwill come back to the sky.