Two Poems | by MD Marcus

Kentucky

is 597 miles
beneath my car’s tires

Thanksgiving turkeys
and Christmas hams

Mammaw’s
concrete embrace

Pappaw’s
empty recliner

Aunt and Uncle’s tobacco farm
and hearts full of Jesus

Where all street signs read
Paula

Kentucky

is phone calls that begin with long pauses
and end with bad news

maxed out credit cards for dark clothing
to wear just once

three gray tombstones
in an icy church yard

homes atop rocky hills that crumble
into the Ohio River of my dreams


lunchbreak

two grilled chicken sandwiches

mine with extra pickles

sit waiting upon my arrival

the manager gives me a smile

and fresh fries

because I am late

to meet my aunt

who never knew it was that bad

who has come to atone

for the sins of our family

 

salt rains

on my paper wrapper

the sound of a hundred granules

poured over

racist hurts     mental illness    abuse

I hear my mother read

the Holy Bible

35 years past, searching

for the truth

the parallels between

my grandfather and grandmother

 

I am reminded of your sincere faith,

which first lived in your grandmother

and in your mother, I am persuaded,

now lives in you

 

napkins disintegrate

in my clenched fist

as she confirms the atrocities

only my subconscious

has ever acknowledged

we blame Vietnam

or the devil

for my father’s transgressions

 

my body peels away

from the booth

itchy from eyes and ears

felt over our painful words

our actions of solace

half an hour has come

has gone

I shove my sandwich

still whole

and wet from the extra pickles

back into the bag

rise to hug her

never knowing what

occasion will bring us back

together

 

my breath condenses

a miniature cloud

between my face

and the windshield

I drive back to work with vents aimed

blast the A/C

into my unblinking eyes
2016-05-24-23-55-29-991.jpgMD Marcus is a freelance writer and poet who loves keys, the color blue, and a good nude illusion. Her work has recently appeared on Salon as well as in Rat’s Ass Review, Calliope Magazine, The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, In-Flight Literary Magazine, The Round Up, “Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness,” among others. Please pay her a visit at mdmarcus.com.

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