The white bowls in the orderly cupboards filled with nothing. The sound of applause in running water. All those who've drowned in oceans, all who've drowned in pools, in ponds, the small family together in the car hit head on. The pantry full of lilies, the lobsters scratching to get out of the pot, and God being pulled across the heavens in a burning car. The recipes like confessions. The confessions like songs. The sun. The bomb. The white bowls in the orderly cupboards filled with blood. I wanted something simple, and domestic. A kitchen song. They were just driving along. Dad turned the radio off, and Mom turned it back on.
My mother begged me: Please, please, study
I would have no future, and this
is the future that was lost in time to me
having scoffed at her, refusing
to learn the only skill I’d ever need, the one
I will associate forever now with loss, with her
bald head, her wig, a world
by the time we had this argument, while
our walls stayed slathered in its pale green.
wore its sweater sets. While we
giddily picked the pineapple
off our hams with toothpicks. Now
I'm lost somewhere between
and 1973. My
time machine, blown off course, just
as my mother knew it would be.
Oh, Mama: forget about me.
You don't have to forgive
me, but know this, please:
the Stenographer now.
the Secretary you wanted me to be. I am
the girl who gained the expertise you
knew some day some man would need.
Too late, maybe.
I'm sick, I think.
“And now I'm going to tell you
a little secret.
Get your pen and steno-pad, and sit
down across from me.”
It never ends.
You learn a million
the symbols &
practice the techniques
and still you wake up every morning
lost inside your
lost machine. Confused, but always
on a journey.
I'm taking it down
so quickly, so
when I appear
not to be.
I do this naturally.
that in the end
no training was ever needed.
None at all.
None at all.
I taught myself so well.
It's all I can do now.