Remember that I am your creature…
—Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Scarlet-lipped, magnetic, full blown and unmothered,
I am the blank page my maker writes on. I was a beautiful
unblemished creature. Clean as a crow-picked bone,
pure as virgin milk and batter before eggs are added,
bright as an albino fawn, an ivory tusk before it’s hacked,
a lampshade, Elmer’s glue daubed on a Valentine—
a lace of cloud cover snagged on a mountain peak—my
beautiful innocence unfettered. Yes, this is a God poem.
And through all this where was my mother in her nightgown
of starlight, her hands deep in laundry and her soul purer
than pure? How she slaved over my Halloween costumes,
the ghost sheet, the snow queen, the albatross. At first
my soul was pure as Cool Whip, a waning moon and linen,
doves at a wedding, the bride’s gown, and cabbage moths.
It wasn’t a sin of omission but one of addition. My maker
spoon-fed me lobster traps and blue oysters, India ink and
wolves, purple pansies, and licorice, black holes and deep caves,
an oceanic trench and cockroach kisses, Black Swan and Narcissus,
leotards splayed into unnatural contortions. My childhood
A Tale of Two Cities and High Wind in Jamaica, my heroines
mad and locked up, my play house an ossuary, my jewels
coal-dark, night-dark until he and I share the same dark.