Poem for the Postage Back
You didn’t even have to like it. Just take off your clothes,
look yourself over, there’s no rush for it.
Where is your sense of urgency, I thought I lost,
and look you are pillows, you are pillows,
four pillows, you’re stacked with a head.
Like the body of something that should not be dead, that’s you.
Lay on the ground with your soft parts out. We are coming.
And in your house you have a piece of paper
written on by four dumb hands that want to wait until we’re married.
Sleep with them —just—
sleep with them.
At least you make something to want. I see,
you hold your cap out by the brim, you think it’s funny.
Just like a dance, so do it again. When the women took the stage
they wore coats and angels. One took the poem you loved out for a spin,
leave you them.
I know you like to show things while they’re hot,
cha-cha. But what was a prayer then? There’s no big move.
Here’s a big laugh for this sick, thin, soon-to-be lost yellow duck.
Look at the duck, cluck. Look at the thin, yellow duck.
Sometimes things seem to be lost! lost!
but here they are lady, like your feet
and the cat that I fed, inside our fence
you’ve stacked your dead. And here is
the place that you grew up in,
and I have more space since you’ve started
to die. It was all the new thoughts of so much
good things coming that have made us now
feed the dead. If we can understand this death,
(and it’s understood here to mean stable)
then I think it should mean
that the bad things done, laught after hup!
they aren’t no news to us.
They sink and they swim just like us
(things such as this with such good things coming)
can take a girl fast and away; floats the grass.
Return of the Lost Girl
It is time to get dressed.
I wash my hair, stand in the mirror,
shake. Look here, my little white shoulders.
See my knee caps move up and down.
There is a rain on.
It cools the windows, my room.
Last night I was all creature, a weird one.
I woke up a creature too.
And, if someone is listening:
This is how I will laugh at jokes,
stand with a glass in my hand,
find my seat.
This is how I will greet strangers,
greet old ones,
say things about my mom,
and—when the time’s right—
say, I am so. GLAD.
Say, I could swallow you.
And the music doesn’t make
I could swallow that too.
Sleeping on the Couch
Because I have to get up early to make you coffee
to take you to coffee to feed you—Cereal. 2% Milk.
And Anna has eaten all of my bread in 2 days
while I was distracted. Gas Station,
I mean corner store, I mean $2.48,
or last time anyway which I guess would make it 2.27
Don’t forget to wipe down the kitchen before bed,
no but listen, Maria, listen. And I am tired.
I am tired and tired and stuff about getting up
like normal people,
and God-infinite wisdom-
the choice to give choice, come on.
And really, this whole time, I’ve been thinking about
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her new haircut. What
Spike said through plastic teeth, You do not change.
Demons never change—and that’s true. Demons
don’t change they only move. It’s what makes them
Sal is beside me and Sal is a cat.
He is combing my hair with his paw, the bangs I didn’t want
and he stops and put one paw on my shoulder watching me
like he has something to say/I have something to say.
He rubs my face until I cannot look at him.
Once, a pale-headed angel appeared
before me, but she had no claws.
Dreams should be made of sterner stuff!
I said, and knocked her teeth in with my elbow,
it was easy–forgetting she would not move–
like Jesus, who invented the long, silent stare
before teaching it to her, not as a joke.
Maria Martin lives in Charleston, SC, where she works as a nanny and spends her days reciting poems to a helpless baby on beautiful John’s Island. She tweets at @pideybot.