You wanted to be a butcher
but they made you be a lawyer.
You brought home presents
when it was nobody’s birthday.
Smashed platters of meat
she cut against the grain.
Were a kind
of portable shrine —
I was supposed to cultivate a field of bliss,
then return to my ordinary mind.
You burned the files
and moved the office.
Made your children fear
a different school.
Liked your butter hard
and your candy frozen.
Were a kind
of diamond drill, drilling a hole
right through my skull —
quality sleep, late November.
What did it mean, “field of bliss” —
A sky alive “with your greatest mentor” —
I wore your shoes, big as boats,
flopped through the house —
while you made garlic eggs with garlic salt, what
“represents the living teaching” —
Sausages on toasted rye with a pickle,
and a smother of cheese, and
right out of the can without the cake —
with a knife in one hand and a fork in the other, you raged
at my stony mother, while I banged
from my high chair, waving
the bloodied bone
of something slaughtered — I was
a butcher’s daughter.
So all hail to me —
Os Gurges, Vortex Mouth, I gap my craw
and the bakeries of the cities fall, I
stomp the docks — spew out a bullet stream
of oyster shells, I’ll
drain the seas — the silos
on every farm, the rice
from the paddy fields, the fruit
from all the orchard trees, and then I’ll
eat the trees —
I’ll eat with money and I’ll eat
with my teeth until the rocks
and the mountains curl
and my blood sings —
I’m such a good girl
to eat the world.