Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Every mornin I ask Mama,
Why do your eyes look like torn
screens? I say, Mama your flies
are gettin in the house again.
I swat at my ears, then
lift the toilet lid and find clear
wings floatin, black bellies pinned in
still water. Go on and pee, she says. Don’t
need to flush ‘em first.
When Mama scoops her coffee
grounds, she buries a family alive
while coughin antennae up onto
the shelf of her molars.
Says it tickles when she bites down.
The dog snaps at the air.
Each time he catches one, we three circle up
and howl. Our songs blanket the buzz through
the afternoon and shimmy the ash in the mantle
urn. By then we’re good and exercised,
arms quivering from reachin, palms gut sticky.
Mama, is this called slap-happy?
She tells me to go wash up for dinner.
She prays: God, bless this food to
our body. Bless those who cannot be
with us today. Amen.
I pinch a maggot outta my
pie and wonder how many get
past our lips unseen.
Every night, as she’s fallin asleep,
I lean in slow and close
and I tell my Mama,
Mama, I think we got ‘em all.