221: enough food and a mom

221: enough food and a mom

enough food and a mom
by Francine J. Harris

The dad. body has just enough gravy on his plate
            to sop up one piece of bread. So, enough for one
            supper, says the mom. She comes back to him, says

don’t argue with mom, you’re a ghost. There’s enough
            water around to drown a cob in its husk. in a dad. He puts

up weather stripping all night. to keep out the mom. He says

I should have cooked for you more. She thinks she could
            make her own insulin. to keep from going into dad.

She says I should have married a ghost. says: You have a
little raisin on your lip. a little. The mom says
            stop all that quiet, it’s foolish.
            Come on now, dad. come to ghost.

says the ghost.

I won’t even warn the mom. I won’t even flinch if the ghost
                        tries to hold her mom. After all,

a good séance starts with enough food
            and a mom. The ghost with a biscuit in meat. The mom

with the smell of cracked dad. sucked out of oxygen.
            The mom is a smell of wrecked vines.

                        You, the dad. with no teeth. And no, (the mom)

is a garden full of ghost. No. says the dad: lost in ashes.

No city is complete. its own worst ghost. who can’t
            remember the ghost now, the ghost says:

            All your selves know, now.

They ghost like the bushel of a snowflower.

Everyone is dead. now. says, the ghost.
                        The mom is a yard of blackening petals.

At night, I have really long dads. Without the ghosts,
            I wake in a puddle of ghost.

            But you’ll be mom one day. to know I am alive.

We are all sappy dad, aren’t we. Tell the ghost, it’s ok.
                        Let the bodies lie ghost for a while.

I mom of you. I mom of you a lot.

"enough food and a mom" by Francine J. Harris, from PLAY DEAD by Francine J. Harris, copyright © 2016 Alice James Books. Used by permission of Alice James Books.