|by Antje Kaiser, my mother, missed dearly|
I keep telling my dates I’m looking for love
but the more I look the more I doubt it.
It’s nice to rest my head on a living pillow
but as contacts multiply
my aunt reminds me of my Mercury Moon,
how an aura of Medieval toads
is nothing to drop my guard for
for any princess as when I refilled my barbecue
along Tacoma Avenue—hands, face dotted with warts.
No matter, I used the pen handed me
not to make anyone feel funny.
I’d asked for it, with a vague idea of joining the fun,
getting in with others into changing their own oil
and heading for the hills to get blasted, if not
busted, together forgetting we were ever there in the dream.
I dome the wart each morning in salicylic solution
softening it in remembrance of walls let to collapse
in the humidity that makes us sultry, a city of April
improved, new sunset tints on the cheeks.
The drops show it who’s boss, but one morning
it drains too easily and one wonders
if the cure shuttled too deep—to the point of poison,
riveting viewers while all proceeded on schedule
from the time we wrapped ourselves as boys
around ropes climbing up to whatever gymnasium ceiling
someone pointed to, just to see
how small the eye holding the rope was
up above the empty bleachers, inching higher
into the victory lights, unstoppable cheers from buddies
falling in line with the peering geometry
of windows painted in local sponsors
mirrored on T-shirts, gathering below,
panting on each others’ shoulders.
(Tacoma, Washington; June, 2006)