And you, guardian of lawn and wildflower,
tried to rip out my urtica dioca.
Still you ride me home
to the clicks between the cracks
your name a simmer in Cajun laughter.
I once wore curlers in my mother’s
gold Plymouth Valiant, wishing for prince
finer millinery, a division of dusk
slathering Polaroid jelly on toast
points, martyred on manual typewriters.
We contrive hurricanes now
confuse martins and maxims
walk free on blood signs, gentrified
Sangiovese too sweet, a few needles,
stupid books, strings to keep me pumping.
Nothing stays clean when your hands strum
my face, when my hands touch your hands
strumming my face
a mandolin or balalaika, the grave
disappointment of a droop
the rising cost of destiny and smoked mackerel.