Mother, today’s grass raises up to reach me
and your body underneath its dying and also
its birth folds itself like a perfect blanket.
Each towel in our house was a perfect square
of day, a bath, a dream, a piece of toast, and I
laid them corner over corner to please you
in the absence of children. Mother, I feel
your cross eyes, your necessity for control
over the small and universal by trimming
the string from each blouse, each dishrag so that
not even cotton undoes. Nothing breaks here.
Even your cry I can hear between clouds.
The sun slaps down each call as I address you
and stare into what I am afraid I’ll never see
again. Every ghost story is a love story,
a famous, white, male writer once said.
He never said a thing about hate.