risperidone; Mantis religiosa; A Constant Reminder of Pain, His Likeness on Cloth

by | Dec 10, 2019 | Issue Twelve, Poetry

risperidone

body flawed vessel groin heart tussle my mother dies

blue eyes sunken yet gaze unbroken my mother dies

hand a closed fist mind exposed wish my mother dies

disembodied voices stand in for bad choices my mother dies

dozen missed calls padded rooms white walls my mother dies

side effects wait dry mouth shakes initiate my mother dies

mouth lies feeling better attention getter my mother dies

mixing meds need to stick to cobwebs my mother dies

secrets hushed psychotherapist crush my mother dies

doomed often wears weight loss like a coffin my mother dies

guilt never subsides voices always reply my mother dies

garden sun dial six-month trial again again my mother dies

Mantis religiosa

 “The most famous example of mantis eating their own kind is the notorious mating behavior of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating. Yet this behavior seems not to deter males from reproduction.” -National Geographic 

The green mantis breathes, stalks, pounces, prays in budding grass. Moves to my porch camouflaging intentions. I’m not going to ask about your drinking problem. Have you counted your beers lately? Used to steal Playboy magazines, you see, to identify the curves of my body, to distinguish myself from you. Extinguished, I chased pleasures, dug treasures. All the times we cried became a figment, became a fragment, became storage sold in a rummage sale for ten bucks. I’m not going to tell you why the mantis prays. You know females, studded legs and all, are predators naturally. Mantis, let me ask you, do you pray for me? I reject synthetic silk and overcooked carrots and racecars that go ‘round and ‘round like circuitous conversations. Jim Morrison was able to break on through. To the other side. (My father—still pinned in place.) But the mantis kneels again, bows her head, signaling bloodless death, bereavement secular. The sky was sickly gray, the grass wickedly green, the road and brain flooded, the body bloated, belching, drowning. The rainy disposition depicted.

A Constant Reminder of Pain, His Likeness on Cloth 

At sixty-one, the Queen of Pop clutches her crown.

Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in 1958

to an immigrant Catholic family of eight in

the snowy suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.

Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in 1958;

as was my mother, confirmed name Veronica.

The snowy suburbs of Hartford, Connecticut

paralyzed her heart, making her a material girl.

So was Madonna’s confirmed name Veronica;

She lost her mother to cancer in 1963. This

paralyzed her heart, making her a material girl;

this life: quicker than a ray of light, then gone.

My mother lost babies, a brother & father by 2007.

To my immigrant Catholic family of seven, now five, 

this life is quicker than a ray of light, then gone.

“A constant reminder of pain, His likeness on cloth,”

the priest would say to justify human suffering.

I can’t see His face anywhere, but I help her to bed.

Madonna couldn’t sleep unless near her father

after 1963, until he remarried and everything split.

I can’t see His face anywhere, but I help her to bed.

I clean beer cans from the floor, down on my knees.

My mother couldn’t sleep unless near her father

in the final days of summer—his last, we knew.

I clean beer cans from the floor, down on my knees.

Life is a mystery; everyone must stand alone. 

In the final days of summer, he passed, as the old do. 

At sixty-one, the Queen of Pain clutches her crown. 

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