A Toast to My Body
Here’s to this old suit of clothes,
sodden booze sponge, heavy house
of ill repute. Three cheers
for this aging carcass hung with meat:
fat giblets and muscle ropes,
spacious brainpan and addled homunculus.
Bravo for the bony framework, blood network,
relentless busywork of organs and cells:
the pump engine, the corpuscle abacus—
that sensible valentine of muscle and gristle.
Let’s hear it for the commodious belly,
its endless appetites and mindless devouring,
the dumb and driven animal of me.
One can falter
descending the stairs—
nude or otherwise.
One can be awk-
ward, be conquered,
One can fall. One can
risk it all, then
balustrades of balance,
palisades of pain.
One can hear
from the base of the mind.
One can malign
Because you have more rods or cones than I,
somewhere over a stranger rainbow, might
a teal and cyan skunk waddle across a maroon lawn,
while your eerie cerise eyes are closed in sleep?
Worse, in some future universe, will my new be old
to you, and my white-hot your bone-cold?
My Last Failure
At Forest Park, a nurse
brings meds in pudding,
wields a pressure cuff
amid the blather of TVs.
Now that Mom doesn’t know
me, I think she might love me.
I don’t forget the set of her mouth
when I displeased her—
her eyes’ gray flash.
I remember her poised
to strike at my first failure.
Like the scraped plates
of poverty, I am empty.
Like a scorpion, I am barbed.
Mom thinks I’m her sister.
Of course I am. These days,
I’ll be anyone she needs.
Her lunch tray's abandoned—
bread drying to shells,
yellowed mashed potatoes.
Let us sit and read
Good Housekeeping, or watch
The Waltons on TV, while
she spoons vanilla pudding
into her hairbrush, intent
as if she were diapering a baby.
G. F. Boyer earned an MFA from the University of Washington. She is a retired teacher and editor of poetry and fiction. Her 2018 book, Missile Hymnal Amulet, is available from Amazon via FutureCycle Press: