With my mother gone
I’ve forgotten everything she taught me.
I left the back door unlocked all night
so anyone could just walk in.
I left the key in the lock outside
just to make it easier.
I locked the car keys
inside the car.
I don’t do the dishes right after dinner
or the morning after that.
“A person who does not do the dishes right after dinner,”
she told me, “Is a slob.”
I am a slob without her,
a shapeless mass of guts
I don’t brush my teeth,
don’t get up in time for class.
I cross the street without looking both ways.
I know what happens to people who do that;
They get squashed, run over flat.
My mother told me.
I’m a rolled-out pie crust
heavy and dull, as lard.
Words escape me…
like bubbles leaving tonic flat.
I can’t get them back.
I am unable to speak like a civilized person.
I am uncivilized
as I was before she shaped me.