Living On The Moon, a poem
I remember all she had, stockpiled
in a child’s Easter basket. Necklaces
of ivory, turquoise and amber beads —
hopelessly broken and tangled. Cheap
metal pins, plastic bracelets, a dozen
stilled watches. Dried-out jars
of skin cream, mangled greeting cards,
portraits of her sisters. Often,
I allowed her to caress my face with
her trembling, soiled hands. On the pillow,
my head next to hers, pretending
I was a small child, and she my beloved
mother. Afterward, I scrubbed myself pink
with harsh soap. In a moment captured
years ago, Brandy, her tiny poodle,
dances on his hind legs, his pink toenails
scrabbling against her tanned,
scrawny calves, a rhinestone collar
tight around his limber ashen neck.
She tempts him to please her with a bit
of bacon — herself very plump around
the middle, silver hair teased and
sprayed, a perfect bouffant. You
would never guess then she was fated
to end up living on the surface of the moon,
by herself, without shame, without desire.
I must restring the beads, drape them over
a mirror, say a few words to her picture.
She will appear in my dreams nightly, dancing
with a small white dog, twirling her brittle
bones around and around until they catch fire.
She will sparkle like cut glass; gulping for air.