Tuesday, April 20, 2010

hating me won't make you pretty

a tee shirt said that
on a worn-out woman
w/ a bicycle riding
the el to frankford
for easter
me and my brother
to meet our mother
who’ll make dinner for us
who used to make clothes for us
when we were kids who
wanted tee shirts
that said things—
my mother refused
to put words on our shirts
clothes shouldn’t talk, she said
people talk—you’re gonna
speak for yourself

today i said if sorrow’s really
old joy, toss me an absolute
to suck on           christ is risen
we hop to & fro     the rhythm
opens a small business     a prayer
we patronize     we are patrons
patriots             pick up a pound
of ham from greenman’s
on your way        worn pieces of
routines               the sense and
nonsense              pieces of clothes
in the common weather we’ve
worn      pieces of my mother
in pieces because my father’s
left her for good
and all the money from her business
gone for good
that hurts to say               for good
it’s not for good
it’s for the fucking worst
you might as well shoot the motherfucker

you’re not supposed to do that
you’re not supposed to               take your bike on the el
you’re not supposed to               park against the direction of traffic
you’re not supposed to               turn on red when there’s a sign and nothing’s coming