Outside was dry and this house was full of water.
A lush territory of dust and infertility,
a menacing posse of outlaw tumbleweeds,
watching from across the street. My baby brother and I begrudgingly
“there is a dust storm coming,”
says mother with fabric flowing from her arms.
She guides my hand across the dingy brown t shirt, her freckled skin on mine,
creating fringe and fashioning gaudy feathers into our hair.
When it was hot I would swim in blue velvet.
Grandmother’s powder scent present made me deaf to my brother’s tantrums.
His tear stained cheeks later resting on my shoulder,
I prayed for maternal possession, abilities beyond my age.
Clinks of my mother wading in a clinical orange fish tank of —zoles, —zines, and —zacs.
Chloe Par fume and Fabric softener, I’d run my small dry hands against the grain of the fabric
reveling in the changing tones of blue. Up, dark, down, light, up, dark, down, light.
Rocking to and fro, if I closed my eyes, I was asea with the maiden I never met.
My father, 60 miles away, his eyes were swimming in binary numbers.
My mother once bound to country, now bound to country living
organizing, planning, making boredom her target, never planning her own rescue.
She provided her souvenirs and we would cut them, twist them and transform them.
A midafternoon phone call. A lunch for three at a table for four.
Plastic placemats covered in grapes and leaves. A feast of egg noodles and ketchup.
Our armor finished. Worn brown tunics, secondhand beads and cardboard headdresses.
We were finally warriors, storming upon our foes.
For a new frontier we ran the full expanse
of a high carpet terrain. I ran hard towards—
a despondent check stub 60 miles away,
an overflowing pool of Dr.’s orders,
a long gone maiden,
an absent chief,
a lumpy mattress imprinted with human form
a Kenmore, barren and absent of sustenance.
I was going to find them.
And finish them.