“Ma-mah”

Rusty like a pelvis turning over in the rain,
I look out at the world through misty eyes,
rolling and twisting. My suspenders lock
on my hips like metal hooks swinging
cattle carcass down expensive royal halls;
A wrecking ball knocking over furniture,
blue teapots, and other beautiful
things.

I reinvent myself to exclude you
and other women
who threaten me
as another beautiful thing
that might have an accident.

I reinvent myself and wrap the chains
that shackle you
and other women
who threaten me
because I could never get over Ma-mah
and how hard she smacked my face
when the glass vase smashed
on the creamy ceramic tile.

Ma-mah said,
“Beautiful things
can never be replaced.
But little boys
are not beautiful—
and if they do not behave,
little boys
can be given away.”

That is when
I began wearing dresses,
for Ma-mah.

I reinvent myself to exclude you
and other women
who would discard me
like flesh colored pantyhose,
ankle high at the shoe shop.

I reinvent myself for Ma-mah.

narrative poem written on 10-11-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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