I will kiss the feet of my mother. I am not ashamed to bow down towards grass, wet with clear sky water. I will bow down to her who birthed me, in whose center I was housed, in whose waters I swam, from conception to the coming out. Bow down to her who gave me life, kiss the flesh--each digit achy with gout, the tireless travel of the old, the bearing of things unseen. Harvester of wheat and planter of seeds, the farmland and the plow, where her hands touched soft, cold earth crumbling through fingers, the bearing of flesh that rose up out of her, rising still, her children's children, and then theirs. I bow down to my human statue, my stronghold. Sun comes down, and the light around her head is white. And I, last born, on my knees before her, kiss the bones underneath the skin, the toes that ache with year, eighty-one peeled down like skins of island fruit, each one bearing sweet flesh within, and the bitter pit we all must come to. This she plants again and sees it rise, not from window, but from her place in skies, when, after years, she will go
Five short monologues by Mary Crescenzo William I want to sleep in my own bed, if you haven’t sold it at a garage sale. I want the dog to come here or better yet, can you take me home? I want to sleep on the mattress that only you and I have slept on. I want music I love, not the MUZAK that I pay for as part of the bill. I want to sing a song without someone in the next bed telling me to shut up, telling me to keep it down, I know I’m sometimes out of tune. I want to eat a piece of cake and wash it down with ice cream. I want to look out the window and recognize the trees. You say, "You’ll be alright," as if you think you can fool me, as if that makes it easier for you to get through
An Early Frost Once again they’re alone, like in the beginning, only now it’s winter and the backseat of their car rides emptied, a painful reminder of an early frost, her last breath still resting warm on their icy cheeks. And now, but for the rattle of a loose tailpipe that always gripes over the last frozen mile home, there remains no hint of a previous season, though the animals seem to know, bowing their heads each time the tailpipe announces its return.