Scoundrel Time



I have never had a mother, or, no longer have

or, once did, briefly, for a day or two.

Perhaps she was only mine


during the wet crown of hours I spun my skull

through her ripe & widening cunt,

then fastened to her nipple—


a botched daughter ugly with hunger.

Or maybe it was long before the orphaning,

before the womb fell quiet & her brain


went sour—gentle reader, won’t you permit me

this sweetness?—the morning she straddled

my father, a black flood of hair,


throat opened to god, the red muscle of her quickening

like the pulse of a dazzled child. Yes,

let it be there, in that heat-ravaged




moment as she caught the pale bloom of herself

in the mirror & looking

back over her shoulder,


fell in love with the animal engine of her body,

not for the daughter it could nurture,

but for the girl it would kill.