by Analicia Sotelo
Every afternoon, it’s the same
womb of inattention:
the umbilical cord snaps, the lights go out,
and the residue of a failed relationship
lives on all my dishes.
When I was young, my mother
made a house of thin, papery walls.
Like handmade veins,
lit by tea light.
My dolls walked through the living room
and into the kitchen
where my biological father
dislocated their arms, arranged them
on the countertop for the sake of his plastic art.
You never know what a person is like
beneath their skin, what they’ll do
with what’s available.
When I feel for men, I forget her,
set the death clock going.
I want her to live on
so long, so well—I’d kill them first,
hang them from their sleeves
on planter hooks out the window, shut it tight.
And when it rained, I’d watch their arms
reach out boyishly toward the clouds,
toward the nebulae of You’re So Naïve.
If she dies, I’ll leave her silhouette
to dry on wooden clips in the backyard.
I’ll sit out there in her cotton dress
for the company.