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Of Body and Soul


I have very ugly feet.
If my mother saw them
She would make me get a pedicure.

She would take me to the salon against my will
The way she took me a man who took a razor to my face.
My eyebrows were too bold. It’s a good thing Nick loves you!

I let them grow so they could match my toes
Which may or may not have a fungus–
Some of the nails are more discolored than others and

They sort of meld into the skin making them hard
To cut. Maybe it’s the beginning of a mutation.
R. L. Stine could write my story and make the title ultra cheesy:

The Woman Who Turned Into A Beast
She stopped wearing bras and threw her make-up in the trash.
She never asked for permission to speak or waited for others

To tell her how to think. For this
Her father disowned her on a regular basis.
Her grandmother was troubled but instead of retreating

Became more intent on making the beast a real lady–
She sent perfume from Mary Kay and concealer for her complexion,
Sure that a catalog and a gaudy shirt sent through the mail could cure

Any imperfection of the soul.
Tell me what you want. They have nice polish.
Did it fit right? Tell me what you want.

I’d like one Nana, alive,
with gospel Sunday mornings and
I love you, Pretty goodnights and

Promises I’ll never have to dream just to see her.
Give me a catalog from the land of the dead
So I can choose who to bring back

To fill the hole of the day.
Give me my grandfather so
I am lifted high enough to see the world.

Give me my first little brother so
I can unwatch my mother fall apart.
Give me his father back

So I can unwatch my mother fall apart again
And never know how she looks missing pieces of herself.
Give me my nana so I have all the pieces of myself.

Give me my nana.

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