Note to Slip in Your Pocket, Never Slipped
Did your mother ask when you’ll bring a wife,
purse her lips until they disappeared?
Did you show her the ceramic bird
then shut it away with the other
birthday gifts? You say you’re better
off than most married folks you know,
and I want to toss off,
let’s you and me make a go of it.
You can fill your truck bed with hydrangeas.
I’ll dig their holes with my hands.
Then again, to be honest, I don’t much care
for dirt, so let’s scratch the whole thing,
can’t we? I never told you about the night
your friend sang to me as I clutched
his infant son in my lap and asked
when’s Susan getting back from her sister’s.
As if my refusal had anything
to do with him, he shrank and snapped,
you’re holding him wrong.
I don’t know how to hold anything.
I’m trying to say I’ve only done one thing right,
and that was leave. I’m trying to say
I can show you how if you’d like.
Step one: let your wings grow back;
ignore the sores they make
on your shoulder blades; welcome
the dun-colored feathers and infection.