Dear Mothers of America

As for living to the side of yourself like a pile of rice
                        in the vicinity of the fish (as for being an eye-self
                                    hanging above a body-self

content with separating cowboy stuff
                        from G.I. Joe stuff from Batman boxer shorts):
                                    yeah, I’ve been there, I know what you mean,

don’t get me started.  There were, in fact,
                        ten rooms in one house. 
                                    And dust and a couch and dirt and lamps. 

I was thus the body of the two hands
                        and the body of the feet
                                    becoming somehow

the body primarily of the mouth
                        demanding bleach.  It’s not that I was
                                    pitiful.  It was more like:

who else would eradicate
                        this rotten scattering of skin flakes
                                    and hair and spiders

and such?  Who else would swab the spit? 
                        So sure it was wholesome at the river
                                    when I was a new mom

but creepy is the point
                        to live for the wiping of boots
                                    and the soaking of jackets
with my mouth open and my poor tongue sticking out
                        like I was hoping to comprehend
                                    what was wrong

with being mostly as I say
                        just the eye part of something
                                    soaking in the grimy particles

while all the other girls went on being actual girls
                        and I’m sorry to have to say this
                                    since I know it’s upsetting
but that’s the way it was; I appreciate your asking
                        come again real soon
                                    be careful watch your step.

From Live from the Homesick Jamboree (Wesleyan University Press, 2009). Copyright © 2009 by Adrian Blevins. Used with the permission of the author.