No Milk and Cookies
Sean Farragher

Mother stalked me with her spoon
when father drank. Love was
“a turn of the screw,” James’s
story, was mysterious;
water fills the tub barely
kicking the ocean as I splash
in the bath with her perfume
on my lips, on her fingers.

It was a game; she flew naked
from lies. “I was not child,” she said.
“Man of my dreams,” she sang.
Delusion and mercy forever and ever.

Held by my privates,
sprayed with blue milk I sucked.
She laughed. She loved harder
as she spoke that word “pain”
in commercials for happiness.

She tongued my lips and I bit her nipple.
“Christ violet in flower,” she said. “More.
It hurts. It is a bloody sky, crimson
patch of gentleness. Amen.”
I am your demon.

When I held her she laughed too easy
at the mystery of the boy and his chalice.

The next morning I woke to the smell of raw milk
gone sour—she of semen left out to ripen;
father slept on the floor not forgotten.

No one caught her for his crime
nor did Father suffer pale malaise.
She died not knowing the legacy.
The entrance to her hell
was a ball of sun and a noose.

“You are the lamb,” she said.
“I am the woman with the ax.”

It was fear, she said.
I cannot watch you
as I fall from your side
and it doesn't happen
as stroke follows memory.

I rose at dawn and made
that extension a daily ritual.
The world lived inside and my breath
was cool, instant after instant I signed
at the place where I was ordered.
She made me lie down in her green pasture.
I could not confess her sins. I opened
her door and watched her with him.

I was sad as she turned away.
He laughed as my wife revised
our order of ceremony. She’s
mine, I wanted to shout. He took
her back and beat her raw,
I rubbed her wounds and kissed
where she longed to hurt
syllables split into stalks
hide, seek allows pollution.
They called sex that once.

When she came I counted
the number of thrusts
expanded like a litany of sex
on the back of her cross where
we live happy together
in Mary, in the end of all things
while Saturn covers us with methane
as frozen rivers from Triton.

The beach is arms—
a painful crust of rock—
genesis in billions of years
from then to now while
mother and father made love
in the void as salt revived
the strip tease of the lash
I watched.

I remember her pleasure
as I came too soon, late
to the morning of her sun.

I worship at that Hollywood door
where her hair parts and
moisture leaks from her gate.

I was stalked in my flannel
warm and cozy night dress.
Mother stood up
made for burlesque
while I gave
into her pleading—
let go in her mouth.


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