Background Noise

by Chloe Hooks
back where I’m from 
women got tape dispenser tongues 
clip their talk, dust whipping their faces
shut down sound with a lipstick snap
powerful enough
to pin drunk brother to the ceiling 
or maybe 
refasten a broken reputation 
back where I’m from 
the smartest girls yank out velvet muscle
unroll wet ribbon until 
they secure a dream of wrapping paper 
crisp creases, coiled bow
present it to their lovers saying
this is
           my gift 
to you
I’m from 
that place of homestyle heat 
where Missy learns rhetoric from a sticker-burr 
where all the ladies’ cotton compliments are slick with oil money 
and where Nana’s stash of lye unfilths errant mouths
back where 
Mother’s loving strategies are hot chocolate and tequila
and cicadas thrum while Sissa skinny-dips between Cyprus toes
a rawhide scent beguiles and 
a little girl can’t tell
daddy’s hunting belt
daddy’s dancing shoes