What to Expect


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Cover girl, how numb you

                                        look: your glassy gaze,

autocratic belly

                                        a load on your lap,

the bars of your rocker

                                        a cage

to cradle you.

                                        Or is it your fashion

that grieves you?

                                        Ketchup pants, mustard

sweater, shoes dull

                                        as dung, your feathered

bangs meant to stand

                                        for some aeon of moms-

to-be that still date

                                        you. What say you?

Don’t try this?

                                        Expect enemas?

Expect condescending

                                        empire bows? From books,

a creepy skipping

                                        record, It’s just hormones,

for why I’m one degree

                                        hotter and puking at popcorn?

Mona-Lisa-mysterious,

                                        you look like you’ll turn

animal, circle the room

                                        of tragic orchid wallpaper.

The book in your hand is

                                        blank, the pages white

as pillow cases

                                        in hospital beds.

Where’s your text? What

                                        to expect? Our stories

erased? Our lives placed

                                        in the cries of babes,

just as my mother’s

                                        was placed in mine,

her operatic singing

                                        back-burnered,

an afternoon aria

                                        hummed over gold-

fish crackers in fisted

                                        toddler drool? Beneath you,

my caged, sad, condiment

                                        momma, sits a basket

of forget-me-nots,

                                        like your ass blooms

affirmations. But

                                        psychologists know

what our minds do

                                        with orders in the opposite—

we erase the negative,

                                        hear only in affirmative

Forget me Forget

                                        me Forget me.

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