portion of the artwork for Sarah Sarai's poems

Front Yard (I Have No Mythology)
Sarah Sarai

My lace bustier has slender ribbons attached
to the nine or so planets. Await with a shiver
my dance that says mortality.
I jut one hip and you’re revealed
as, well, tragic. I snap the crushed grapeskin

of your life to obeisant heavens which shuttle you
farther out. Although you might wonder what’s next,
I’ve got a bead on things. Time eviscerates.
Death is desiccation.
In the end, you forget even yourself.
No past might sound good, but think on
no future and no now
while I tend the new crop of hearts.
I know what it takes to keep love alive.

My grandmother is dead.
It is summer and I follow my father to the dark heat
of our front yard. Somewhere
not too high up, there are stars.
I have no mythology.
I am eight. My fingers burrow into my father’s palm,
my little tips pushing into Venus.

I’m remembering him and me
at the museum. I don’t belong
with my father but since we’re related by complementary
lacks of ease this junket makes sense.

Picasso surpasses gender, I am hoping, though I’m not sure.

I have not forgotten what it’s like to see
my intelligence outdistance his like my brains
are Jim Thorpe.

My brains are not Jim Thorpe.
I am smart, though.

“Stop bothering Ma.”

I expect everyone to pay for me.

He censured wee lollygaggers
on his mother’s toes.
In the ward.
In the home. How
did they handle things back then?

Was she Ingrid Bergman scared?
“NoNoOhNo!” Or mother-worried
like they’d squatted the empty apartment
one floor below to party like gypsies.
The little people clocked out, maybe
to decamp to his esophagus.

You’ve got to die of something.

Why not voice and false flesh.
Soon it’s the cold tumble of night sky never
becoming day.

I pray for you, Father. My tears water
poverty and poustinia, cyclic pleas
to smooth aberration in the planetary
spin of suffering (a trick of the eye; beware).

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 28 | Spring 2010