Girl by featured artist Lora Mathis
On the San Franciscan Pier,
the sourdough baguettes align
in the clear-paned glass,
swaddled like rows of children
in a ward. Each loaf a birth
from the same mother culture –
warmed, coddled, arisen.
Spreading the one self
so thin in order to give.
Always knowing how dough
can be kneaded by hand
to stretch like skin near breaking –
how it feels to feed both continuous
and contiguous on the hungry
mouths that always multiply again.
Mother, once there must have been
a young girl in you, wide-eyed
and full of possibles that rolled
together must resemble a whole.
An unhallowed fullness.
And my mouth works fine.
And I can taste the pleasant code.
Bereft of the true bread hidden within
the deep pockets I hunger when full.
I tear the animal crust with dust
in my mouth and continue to chew.
They say the wine was the blood,
and the blood was the redemption.
If you were only one drop on a canvas
of white my ocean would redden.
Dogma-ridden and fear-held,
myopic and always misunderstood.
My body is a scar on the tracks.
My body bears the imprints of wolves.
I want to say forgiven.
I want to say absolve.
I want to manifest your bald head
under the cool running water
of words or a cold comforting balm.
These days, you are so pathetically old.
Asshole. Penis. Mouth.
So embarrassingly human.
Monster of memory. Monster
of guilt. Your fur has come loose
on the tree and drifts like wind
into every story I will never tell.