my mom walked in while I was perusing shirtlesscharlie
Oh Charlie McDonnell, what have you done?
Recently, I know I’ve let her down. Nah, let me change that; I’ve always let her down, and at that, more times than I can count.
But, despite all the failures and mistakes, she quietly urges me on. Although I know she’s frustrated inside - constantly questioning what she did wrong - she continues to wake up early morning to make my lunches. She continues to put my towel in the dryer so that it will be warm when I come out of the shower. She continues to question any boy who comes near my house like a damn good prosecutor. Sometimes, I imagine her rehearsing for A Few Good Men, executing “I want the truth!” perfectly. And in turn, handling the truth flawlessly as well.
Today, she asked me about birthday plans via e-mail. I didn’t have much to say, so sent a bland reply back. When I got back home from school, cup of milk in hand, I saw this.
At times I think my mom is a fairy godmother too.
when I woke up Monday early morning and then realized I could go back to sleep
late night, burgundy hair.
with my mom staring you down at the doorway
sigh, it’s gonna suck waking up tomorrow morning
I held you
through all your shifts
of structure: while your bones turned
from caved rock back to marrow,
fur faded to hair
the bird’s cry died in your throat
the treebark paled from your skin
the leaves from your eyes
till you limped back again
to daily man:
a lounger on streetcorners
an iron-shiny garbadine
a leaner on stale tables:
at night a twitching sleeper
dreaming of crumbs and rhymes and a sagging woman
caged by a sour bed.
languages are obsolete.
These days we keep
our weary distances:
sparring in the vacant spaces
of peeling rooms
and rented minutes, climbing
all the expected stairs, our voices
abraded with fatigue,
our bodies wary.