So who mothers the mothers who tend the hallways of mothers, the spill of mothers, the smell of mothers, who mend the eyes of mothers, the lies of mothers scared to turn on lights in basements filled with mothers called by mothers in the dark, the kin of mothers, the gin of mothers, mothers out on bail, who
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Acts of Mind
What's funny about this place
is us regulars coming in with our different
accoutrements, mine usually the little void
of space I call honey, days
I can barely get through I'm laughing so hard,
see? In the back a woman squeezes oranges,
someone presses the fresh white bread
into communion wafers or party favors.
In the window the chickens rotate blissfully,
Sometimes I flirt with the cashier, just improvising,
the way birds land all in a hurry on the streetlamp across the street,
which stays warm even on cold nights.
Guillaume says humor is sadness
and he's awfully pretty.
What do they put in this coffee? Men?
No wonder I get a little high. Remember
when we didn't have sex on the ferris wheel,
oh that was a blast,
high, high above the Tuileries!
Poet, editor, and teacher Catherine Barnett was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied at Princeton University and at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Barnett is the author of two collections of poetry: Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004) and The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012), which was the recipient of the 2012 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.