Somewhere in Northern Ohio, on a farm
my mother is drunk, kissing an open
cut, placing my hands to my sides.
She is covered in moths. She keeps saying
I am your mother I am your mother
The moon is blood;
Wears her clothing inside out.
Points to the invisible bison— says
they come for me; my heart
is facing their curled horn.
She screams to the yearling:
I hate her I hate her
I hate her!
My mother hates me.
The first girl I kissed, the boy
I bought an apartment for, the last
girl I kissed, my roommates, my cat,
the grocery store clerk, the botanical
gardens, the bee colonies and their honey
all hate me.
I hush her.
My mother is tired,
My mother is my mother.
I am a good daughter. I take
care of love for the both of us.
In between the laundry line she flashes
smiles as the tablecloths roll with flame.
The air, thick, like leather.
Mother is on fire, again.
You must understand,
I cannot find peace.
I try to stop her, but I am no good.
I open her mouth with paper gloves
and out comes the red heat.
Listen to my heart beat.
The moon is blood. I wake up
in Northern Ohio with
a mother who is a mother who is my mother
who digs a hole in the earth for a dead bird
she finds on the side of the road.
I say, mother,
the bird does not need a grave.
Everything needs a grave she says.
Even me. Even you.