Two Poems

FIXATIVE

My mom is a picture of health. Every inch a child where I used to be.
We have a turtle that lives in the fridge. In the vegetable tray. In the
bottom. Sometimes we feed it cabbage but mostly its life is there in
the empty tray. A hard shell. A bald head. One day I come home and
see that mom has cleaned my luggage like she said she would. I'd
been away on a short trip. My 18-piece luggage made of thick
wash-basin porcelain had accumulated dust. It is extremely heavy
and awkward to maneuver, its bulk outweighing its purpose. But
it protects unusual items that need protection. Upon my return, my
mother saw the dust and the frustration on my face. She said, "I'll
fix it." I came home. Each porcelain piece had been wallpapered
with fake wood grain so that it would appear lighter. “Mom, how
did you do that?” I marveled. “It’s only luggage,” she answered.
My mom saw that I was hungry and said, “I’ll fix it.” I went to wash
my face, came into the kitchen and there was mom, serving me
green soup in the huge turtle shell. “Mom, why did you do that?”
I asked. “It’s only a turtle,” she said. I had to leave for the airport
and was running late. My mother saw that I was worried and said,
“I’ll fix it.” She pulled the car to the front, my luggage strapped to
the roof, “Get in,” she said. The radio playing, past the speed
limit, a Brazilian song comes on with my mother's voice, singing
the chorus in Spanish, I was astonished. “Mom, when did you
record this?” “It’s only music,” she said. On the airplane my
mother calls me on my cellphone. “Did you get to the airport?”
she asks. “Yes, you dropped me off,” I remind her. I keep her on
the line and return to the crossword puzzle waiting on my seat.
I ask her if she knows of a six-letter word for fixative. She hangs
up. The stewardess notices my perplexed face and places an
envelope with the word "now" on my lap. I open it. Inside is a
note from my mother. I think to myself, how did she do that? I
read the note. It says, “It’s only a puzzle.”

~~~

The stewardess notices my perplexed face and places an ice
box on my lap. The word "now" etched in frost on the outside.
I open it and there's a note from my mother inside. I think to
myself, mom how did you do that? I read the note. It says, “It’s
only a puzzle.”

~~~

The stewardess notices my perplexed face and places an ice
box on my lap. I open it. Inside is an envelope, and a baby
turtle eating cabbage. I open the envelope and eat the note. I
think to myself, how did I do that?

~~~

The stewardess notices my perplexed face and places a
baby turtle on my lap. I look at her and she walks away. I
think to myself, mom?

~~~

The stewardess notices my perplexed face and removes
her gloves. Her face comes close to mine as she leans in.
She strokes the left side of my face and whispers, "mom."

~~~

The stewardess notices my perplexed face and removes
her gloves. Her face comes close to mine as she leans in.
She strokes the left side of my face with her left hand.
She places her right hand on my lap and unzips my
suitcase. She gently prys my teeth apart with her tongue
and pulls my turtle out of its shell. And I think, mom?

~~~

The stewardess notices my mom.

~~~

The mom.

SOME KINDA RIP IN WHAT I SEE

the                                                                                                                                         sucking

the                                                                                                                                                cup
the                                                                                                                                              child
the                                                                                                                                                dot
the                                                                                                                                                dot
d                                                                           o                                                                          t
thesucking                      cup                          dotdot                            child                            dash
the              instroke           up             the              cross          dot            the        dot              dot


you see
these things fall into a space without apology
and so do these...

side                                                              stroke                                                              down
dash              cross          brokefor                              stash             dashup              slide
cross                      across                      swing                      check                    choose
to          icon                      the                   i               dot                          dot

is not a god in every letter

a dream
stroke to the letter
the world as instroke up the cross is to the letter and the word
can try to better it slipper it isn't the choice of a letter

every belief you have ever had

?

You see
I see these things fall from their own openings
Brokens laced together by brokens forced together

To be apart all the time I see these things

Some kinda rip in what I see


From inside the eyewell
The rip apparent
The dip into the eyelids torn from inside
The mouth inside the eyeball is a quiet scream dot dot slash I feel

My eyes

Into my skull

The rip apparent

From inside what I see


You see
I'm grounded in a space that allows me

To look up at the morning sun and happily and without apology

Wonder about the new day

The suckering chance

The sucking cup of child

The tentacle of child
The gouge of my eyes
Fluid ink

Sacs of dot
The dash of a space without apology dot dot

Every icon of beauty has its vanity
Every letter has its devil day
And is not every letter you have ever had some kinda involvement
Some kinda dash dot stroke dash dit with
Some kinda rip I'm in

Some kinda ground I'm grounded in

This space trying to open

The mouth from inside the eyeball

Yawning the dip into fractures

Fractures

Broken sky holes from inside

Announcing her parrot beak elegy without apology

I

Grounded in

I

Allow

Me

To fall

Into

Elegy without apology

The ground opening

The eyeball bursting

Declaring

Her‘ology

Without apology...you see

I see these things fall apart all the time
Calling me to the rip in what I see

The suckering into wonder

I dot dot dot but not yet
Side stroke octamortalia

Ink sacs of dot dot doctopi

but not yet

Slash
Pus letters dash fluid crot

not but not

not dot not but not

not

poetryBarzakh Mag