You inherit the diamond solitaire,
I just want the Corningware.
Growing up I learned to use the sewing machine,
with the baking sheet-sized pedal.
I made us cookies and costumes...
You were always difficult
asking me to sew you pudding-color pajamas,
bake you a Gingerbread suit.
I wore patches atop patches
ripped knees and crotch of my tights.
Who do you think kept you in patches?
I wish you weren’t always asking for a ride
then sulking in the back seat with your journal,
chewing your bangs, dreading tendrils
of my hair when I’m driving with the top down.
There’s a leaky blue pen in your army coat,
you’ve left a night sky in the middle seat. And
you trail peanut shells everywhere—
I never see you eat them, squirrel girl.
You’re a Dumbo.
I’m a highway casualty—
You with your Corvette
complex. Frosty pink smile,
doubling lipstick for rouge.
Teeth chattering with freeze pop
music blasting off to the mirage
of an Archie’s comics beach scene.
I wish you weren’t such a third wheel.
Without me your pansy poet boyfriend wouldn’t move
anyone to grapple in pockets for tissues
or a grope. No ones seams sigh, or zippers bite, or
buttons pop (yours included) without a little torment
to their verse.
to their verse.
You always insist on black and white,
silhouettes of castles, howling moons,
wolves waning in the distance.
When all I asked was: Where to?
You knew I wouldn’t stand for the zoo or the mall.
I don’t believe you even like them,
one and the same cages. Hair-straightening,
cell-phone tattooing, indoor electric cigarettes
device kiosks as bad as dancing bears,
shackled, painted elephant toes.
You act like you’re the life of the party!
As though Shakespearean theatre’s
one hop away from carny.
At an open mic no one wants to hear how you slowly fed
the end of an ice cream cone to ants to give ‘em a thrill...
A feast! Like anyone wants to hear
how late you stayed up to write when
no one else would be awake to think
your thoughts or worry your words.
Molest their meter, suck out their juice.
Must everyone be a vampire?
Wrong question. But, yes. I need
to be the only yogi coaching adjectives
in sun salutations. I want to pose them,
realign verbs’ spines...
You have a secret goth box!
Don’t pretend you never want to hide.
When I do, I always find you
to keep me and flask company.
You take the kitchenware—
Gram’s chiffon pie recipe.
I’ll take the heavy charm bracelet.
That lady had big hands, man.
You never could get
the egg whites to stand.
Can’t I fill a few chapters with unflavored gelatin?
I’m a novel, but don’t know how to get there.
Even if I’m only a poem, I’d be happy.
I hope it’s a happy poem.
No one will want to read you.
Let go. Your hands must be tired.