Flower Mom

Says she was a willful child—
the little girl who chopped a
row of her mother’s tall flowers
down for looking at her
funny when she came home from
school. She planted snapdragons
where the mocking birds of
paradise had been. Snapdragons’
faces are fierce too, but sweeter.
They don’t speak unless spoken to.
They only laugh when a hand is
applied to their delicate jaws.


Relentless Dream

My teeth crumble
disease-gray gravel
embedded in wet
disease-gray globs—

the unset cement of
recurring terrors spat
into one of Dad’s coffee
stained handkerchiefs.

My jaw and right
cheekbone unhinge. Too
much loss. Too much loss.
Too much neglect.

Too much neglect. Too
many blows to the
little pink precocious