“Please Don’t Tell My Mother I Wrote This Poem” Poem by Keagan Perlette

Image by Michelle Nguyen

Please Don’t Tell My Mother I Wrote This Poem

Poem by Keagan Perlette

My mother’s father fathered six but fathering wasn’t his strong suit
so when my mother had three she loved us double to make up
for the six loves that my mother’s father lost, and for the time my
mother’s sister shat under my mother’s other sister’s pillow
and the time that my mother fell asleep in the kitchen and got
up out of her body but couldn’t bear to leave the house. My
mother brothered more than she sistered and shot her brother with
a pellet gun even though she loved him double (because
she had no love for her sisters who farted over her face at night and
told her she was nothing) When we went back to her house
before the man set it on fire she showed us her room with the red carpet
and the hallway was carpeted in dead bees and I was too young
to notice if my mother noticed. When it went up in smoke my
mother reminded us that her mother had already lost all her precious
things in a flood and burned that bridge. And each time my mother farts
she smells the lost love, so she stopped eating dairy even though she remembers
how they would eat the fat that rose to the surface of fresh, white milk.