An Autobiography in About 30 Lines or Less
they gutted my mama like a fish to find mea sprouted pea-shoot reaching for the sun
i ran away when i was seven and nine clawed my way uptrees but they dragged me by the tail howling like a ghost
and i fell in love with a girl called annie i was fiveand she had sunflower hands and a raspberry stain on her cheek
and i think maybe she loved me too but we lost touchin the fourth grade and i killed my father slowly in my teens
he's still alive somewhere in oklahoma where the seagullswon’t find him and he’s exactly where i told him to rot
and the doctors sewed my mama up as good as newand she gets better like the wine she bathes in
and i've bled every month for about 30 years or lessputting off the melancholia this time but maybe not next
and yesterday was my birthday and to my surprisei discovered I was a corn snake in a black woman's body
and that explained so much at the time and ain't that a bitchand sister was a chigger-bug if you know what i mean
all bite no hiss and nasty as hell and nowi’m married to a cowardly lion from oz
i left kansas just the way i found herdusty faced and squinting and cupping both her ears
This poem was originally published in Crab Fat Magazine,
Issue 7 (February 2016): 21.
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