Char’s Sorrow

By Michelle Lewis

The thing about my mother is I don’t think

you understand cramhole,        I don’t think you understand back into.


The thing is take the scissors to bed.


Is what kind of man puts candy in a dish that isn’t candy but just mints.


The kind of man she’s with

while I’m home, on a farm. I am eleven

and all this seems like brave but really it is breaking.


The thing about my mother is between the flowers of the wallpaper

I have written tiny words

and jiminy                    it is a garden of the body.

Of crotch and rub and feel me up. So far apart

no one could know they even                           say.


All this seems like succor, when it is really suck her.


The thing about my mother is I don’t think

you understand        alone in this acreage of dark

where I listen in on the party line                            till they say


someone’s there, someone’s breathing

to each other.


The thing about my mother

is this is one way to girl me.                           One way to fear-me-not.


Is some of our stuff in his garage.


Is this body’s orchard

saying            teach me how to die

while I’m still living.


You can find some of Michelle’s most recent poetry in Spoon River Poetry Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Feminist Wire, Requited (March 2016), The Indiana Review (Summer 2016) and The Bennington Review (Fall/Winter 2016). She is also the author of a forthcoming chapbook, Who Will Be Frenchy? (dancing girl press, Fall 2016). She lives in Maine.