quintuple bullshit sonnet for mawmaws dialysis of her kidney
by Henry Goldkamp
and navy bean
ham hock stew. after makin groceries. shot shit.
her body will not be buried. skinned alive by roots
of tulips. in the front yard. she licks daylight
in front of neighbors. she got more balls than carter got
liver pills. days hang on like a dirty shirt. like mouse shit
on rice. madder than a wet hen but wetter than a good
whore in church.
her muumuu sticks to the back of her gams
like cow tongue. granpa snackin on his favorite. lean ground
chuck off the styrofoam with a pinch of salt. the teenagers gag.
he flips. says lots of people different in the world.
says way you might do it aint the only way. dark gets outside
and windows collect the skys sweat. goodbyes
in puberty. pituitary english going army. stomping down small town.
clomping the blubber city. where ya cant find a single sun or gimlet.
mawmaws eyes are clouds. she says pick town or country.
a olive garden or a strip club. only wishwash go to hooters. sleep in
suburbs. real men love realism. and jesus. she adds for good measure.
for his second divorce she got goo-gone
she bought off the tv to get the kids and dog cartoon stickers
off her youngests mazda minivan. she once spat out in her sleep.
id beat the shit out paula deen. her face look like heron meat.
her son smokes glances at wheel of fortune
cranking dollars around
its bend. he looked back to her. she was smiling like god. his turn
turning to a pillar of msg. every stick a ugly stick and they so fun
to whack the young with. her grandaughters poppin ecstasy before
slugging the blood of christ on a wednesday. sermon goes something
like mother earth a feral cat. their litters have kitties from multiple fathers.
mother earth gets round. has many baby daddys. carnage in carthage.
a new experience.
first time mawmaw ever stepped on snow. brain freeze
in her feet. bless her heart full as a tick. now announces menopause
like a fish she ate for dinner last night. each scale. each smell
painted in detail. she dont eat pussyfish cuz it eat off the floor.
what kills her is censorship.
texting in the quikmart line. fuckin phone
autocorrects bitches to birch and then a picture of a fat little tree.
quikmart mans shirt says legalize it. maw thoughts bloom with crack cocaine.
she voted for nixon high as a georgia pine. the world needs saving.
southern contra from the northerners. their dickbeater lakes.
american mouth grow so fast. cant roll their Rs for their amigos at school.
their version of rubik cube. gettin three reds in a row you win. fill out
crosswords from the key in back. left out for sisters to see like they smart.
maw tells em all shutup.
she cant hear without her glasses.
she takes the ambulance for a
fish truck. they follow the sirens all the way to the mall. pick up dog food
to feed to the fish.
sometimes she gives the littlest a cold glass.
watches him drink it. tells him fish fuck in that water. pisses herself
maw gets cataract surgery. they go over and watch on video.
maw pisses herself.
talks about the bad doctor. that fucking rat
fucking a snake in the grass.
in her death-interview with the priest.
she says the question of feeling comfy in her own skin make it
sound like she got options.
her last words are five years long.
she got tips. how any real southern man likes a finger up the ass.
good cleavage beats good acreage every time. mississippis got dirt
lots cheap anyhow. and while many get confused. god dont forgive.
its the water doing the forgiving. the dirty work of making itself
no wonder the water tastes like shit.
This poem was originally published in Diagram.
back to University & College Poetry Prizes