Illinois state is the perfect place
to bury your family, my mother cuts in
as we look out over the rolling
plains of a Midwestern cemetery town.
Our plot holds no headstones; only slate plates mark
her brother, father, now her mother.
You're slated to go next to my brother—
the other one who's still alive,
Or you could go by me.
But now it is she who is cut off,
as if she has taken a hit
off her own warm nostalgia.
The air heaves between us and I too can almost taste
that honey-sweet smear of death soaked
deep in mother's milk-bashed reverie—
but it's a plot I cannot follow.
I do not want my body
sheathed in cream and draped in sateen
just to be lain to sleep on foam
in a drool of plaster and spit;
or smothered in mud with a family once
removed. Mother, take the needle out;
rather, burn the body down
and with it out will go the pilot
blue light of the mind.