Elegy to a living mother

Pity the rhododendrons didn’t rise
from the dirt where  a fence
sits   in segments   growing from earth

Today, I think I’ll ask
the postman if he loves  his wife
and the waiter   if he’s    ever cheated.

I’ll unbind  and   watch
a letter flutter to the ground:   Dear Luke,
I’ve got to   stop doing acid      on weekdays.

I’ve got to stop walking   so   slowly    past
the psychic who is really a    prostitute,
watching    her cross legs   
                                    beside a       billboard.

I held a knife and thought of the oven, I thought
              of the bedside
where you won’t rest   your head

I stopped eating
& felt my body
go    mother you’d be   proud

      of   the way I’m breathing
[one in at a time half out]

mother     you said      in   this   life
don’t leave   
                                   the stove on

 the   house
might         catch