Mark James Andrews

You Were Using Drugs So OK It’s Over
Slow dancing with my mother
Tears On My Pillow
her song, her son once
at a family or friend’s wedding floating
in the ether with the thought I’m
coming to the cemetery Mom to
pull dead flowers from the snow
& I should visit you more & sit
on your bench stone memorial
with the family name in rose granite
“Forget that Son. Dance with me now”
whispering close “and write it all down
make me be here having a few beers
none of you kids had a trad wedding
& you with your road trip eloping”
she gliding away then back whispering
“You were using drugs so ok its over”
“Thanks for cleaning me up when I fell
on railroad tracks. Remember 47 stitches
on forehead scalp line blond like yours?”
“You were using drugs. Thought your brains
were gonna pop out & watching you rip
up your books. Scary paperback covers
lurid stuff & attacking with scissors
all those hundreds of pages slashing
ripping then scrambling the pieces
on the kitchen table staring reassembling
reattaching shreds reading aloud to me
revelations of a nova virus apomorphine
dystopian nightmare, on & on, but I miss you”
“Mom it was William Burroughs”
“I hated him the most & you were on drugs”
Mom I’m at the cemetery now & the snow
won’t brush off your bench it’s crusty
icy stuff spiky on the stone top hurts my butt
& there’s a girl on her knees 3 rows down
all these gravestones & she’s attacking
a flat stone with her car window scraper
ice flying up 6 feet & she’s slashing away
making this high keening wail hacking
to a speed metal beat can you hear her?
I’m telling her she’s not gonna find it
her granite memories flying away
she is shrieking “My father he’d be proud”
chanting poetry now in time to the beat
of scraper slash every word preceded
by “f” word artful usage offering her dog
to me who is circling long tongue wagging
in the wind she says animal has been
harassing her all through Ohio she says
motoring up to Mt Clemens Michigan
cemetery named Clinton Grove & this
aint no f’in grove she’s yelling this
“My father f’in hated it here with
these factory rat f’ers. We’re from
Kentucky & I hit ice on 75 about
an hour out of Covington. I wanta
f’ing dig his ass up & take him back.
I’m leaving the hound with you. Got it?”
menacing me with her ice scraper now
her tool black light lit up then strobing white
flashing at me like the ticket that exploded
ready to cut up my lunch naked
she’s got it cracked up into a perfect point
dancing it at me now & she says
“Dance with me you dirty mother fucker.
I got something to tell you.”

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