All At Once

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 14:25 -- eah951


United States
39° 56' 40.4916" N, 77° 17' 52.7208" W

Vanilla cream curdles in blackberry tea;
I didn't know.
Dish soap suds, scented
With childhood and artificial lemon,
Sting my hands,
Chapped, graceless.
I shaved a sliver from my thumb with a paring knife
Making breakfast for my mother yesterday morning.
The eggs were an apology, the cut
A kind of accidental penance.

Prayers rise like the oily bubbles
Floating from the lather, invocations
To the slippery gods of Ajax and chipped saucers.
I drift.
Is there a patron saint of wayward daughters?
I relish the gentle burn of soap scum and ponder
The scope of what I do not know.

Two hundred miles north,
Twin skyscrapers bloom, blanket the city with cinders,
And two little girls emerging from a rotted tenement
In the projects, daughters of a dead crack-whore,
Are rescued by a passing stranger.


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