Poems by keli stewart

Posted: September 26, 2006 by trggradio in Uncategorized

Funeral For My Mother

i will bury you
in dirty panties
pick out a dress
old with an eternal
grease spot

i will mark you
scar you
slice names into
your bones, say
you died of a hate

i wanted to shoot
first but who to
return to wit
the fat meat
of my eye swollen
you or an old lover
who bruised my arms
from behind and
inserted himself
everywhere cuz
i told him he
could and i
rocked myself at
noon in front of
strangers who see
sanity and not
the leper in me
i see
untouchable me
touched everywhere

i have to come
into this church
in yellow
like its armored yellow
i have to burst into these doors
with heels, hat and purse to match
i am my only chorus
me in the pews
me, as my own protector
me wit a slingshot
and a begonia in my hair
i have chosen your casket
the satin inlay
hmmmmmm, i will rock
in the first pew
until i wear down oak
fanning a Mahalia fan
i couldn’t hear
nobody pray
i couldn’t hear
n o b o d y pray
oh, way down
yonder by
myself and i
n o b o d y pray

i will rock for you mama
scream for you mama
sit in the first pew
and comfort myself
the way that old women
hush tears
but i will cry in this church
testify to stained glass
that i have wanted you
wiped up your spit in places
where flying mice
and albino roaches frequent
that every midnight i
checked for your breath
that once i thought
underneath your breasts
was the map of the world
watched how you bowed
and blackened spoons
in our house of forks and knives

i outlived you
thought you would have
gasolined my skin with
your cigarette ash
by now
yanked flesh from
my ribs
blood dripping from your mouth
tip toed around us
until my flesh worn to my neck
with only my eyes
no mouth

this is your funeral
not a catholic or jazz
me ushering you to the

but this is your funeral
i am its director
in my own way
the only way I know
how to lie the dead
to rest
this is it
your funeral
and you can only
have one.


we accept LINK

when daddy leave we go to the welfare dentist that’s what mama call it cause she don’t like going but my tooth is swollen and mama say we don’t have no money and that the lady she act like she doing you a favor by sticking her bony hands in your mouth even-though somewhere down the line we is paying her the door to the office act like it don’t wanna let you in cause the carpet too high and the bottom of the door rub up against it and if you don’t be careful you will push so hard you will fall in
and inside there’s all these people waiting to get they teeth looked at by the doctor who don’t know nobody by they name and when it’s cold outside it’s cold inside and when it’s hot outside, it’s hot inside and the woman at the counter she is brown with purple lips chewing gum all day and she got a LINK card in her pocket and i know it’s that cause we got one too now that daddy gone so the lady at the counter don’t say “yes may i help you” like the dentist we go to when daddy is home she say
and don’t look at you in your face like ms. rosa does ms. rosa is the woman at the desk at daddy’s dentist she is fat and good and if you have no cavities they take your picture and glue it to a big paper tooth and put it on a board with the other kids with no cavities and give you a sticker you pick and a toothbrush and toothpaste that tastes like bubblegum but the welfare dentist don’t got one of them boards and she don’t smile and she don’t call me miss when i sit in the chair or tell me where to put my coat they don’t even close the door so everybody can know and see everything and while she digging in your tooth all you hear is some baby crying

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s