whatcanyouseenow! ghosts and stuff CC
After 3 days free on the street,
I was returned to parental custody.
Then they punished me for my escape--
age 13, to places safer than home, like a motel,
a garage floor, under a laundromat table,
like Dave’s kitchen eating rigatoni with his family--
Father demanded I surrender
the t-shirt I always wore,
a souvenir from performing in the 7th grade play.
He claimed it symbolized my rebellion and deceit,
said I would not eat till I handed it over.
The next day, I couldn’t protect it anymore.
He threw it in the fireplace—I watched it fade
just to get a damn tuna sandwich.
I realize that since I’m often sick,
you and our teenaged son are
uncomfortable with me leaving the house
alone for a few minutes to clear my head.
It’s your say since it’s your money.
I haven’t had a job in 20 years.
Your house. You choose who can’t visit,
who must slip around cameras to say hi.
If you’re furious with me, it’s because I’m bad.
I meekly disagree because I’m hyperemotional.
Why don’t you like me? I’m sorry for this fight.
I’ll be quieter by the time you come back
from your angry walk to the river.
Don’t fuck this up.
You get to be a poet by profession
with a collection of cookbooks.
You live in a damn garden.
I want that life.
I want to have what I want
with no consequences--
that shit you put on Front Street.
Doesn’t matter if you hide
if you speak it into mics under spotlights.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you this before.
But you’re my homegirl and I’m telling you now:
don’t go fucking this up.
Sitting in the corner makes you
map the living room floor.
You find places where tomorrow
you can hide. Eye level just above
carpet level, you see things
they don’t see. The curtains breathe
in and out Summer Sundays.
When you’re assigned to
rewriting verses from Second Peter,
you repeat a word down the page,
then repeat the next.
And the meanings fall apart.
When you lie beside the bookcase,
you stare at the covers.
A Great Revival in the Southern
Armies during the Civil War.
Scientific Proof for the Great Flood.
Ten heavy Theological Dictionaries
of the New Testament.
Spending the afternoon in a corner
sucks, yet your mind runs the
landscape whenever you sit still
and you open wide your eyes.
Catherine Zickgraf’s main jobs are to write poetry and fold laundry. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her recent chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press.
Read and watch her at caththegreat.blogspot.com
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.