Skeletons & Such.

Renee K. Nelson

I.

Hey, I’ll give you something to fly about. There are ways of flying that haven’t been invented yet, ways to open cupboards under sinks and drink Drano. My great-grandmother was a visionary in this sense, a [             ] in the gene pool. The family’s known for thinking outside the locks. Sometimes we feel like a grass skirt/coco-nut bra; sometimes we melt our own esophagi.

Inside every family is a mother caught trying to bury her living infant. One could argue an ounce of clinical depression is worth a pound of Prozac. One could argue a shovel by any other name. One could treat their brain like a petting zoo—sell tickets to see skeletons and the closets they hang in.

But this is not your mother’s crazy. This is a body on the tile—a drain, so to leak. We don’t always know how to [             ] the wheel—we don’t always know how to end our own [             ]—

II.

The son found her afterward: the cupboard opened    the pause    the Draino, drunk   the body twisted: 2NO3 + 9H2 → 2NH3 + 6H2O + stomach under the liquid chemical flush   =    pun asphyxiated on the linoleum        that [                ] she was a mom

The husband wouldn’t talk about any of it, not even: the hospital checked into    the wonder of why & what   the thought of tomorrow I’ll leave   speculations + let me wake up + never happened   =   fine ok fine    son 

She had waited for her husband to leave, her son to take the bus to school. In the morning, she liked to be curious. She was always a looker & judger, one who looked & judged, made important decisions: This plant here. Birds are wayward. I will  wait till they leave. It was a whim of might as well.

That afternoon, she was a [             ], a follow-througher.

III.

Plagiarism is a slit wrist, a bathtub, a spry for yelp. And we don't forgive the ones who do it on purpose. You best take note ‘cause this will be on the test. We say words like “bummer,” “saw that comin’,” “what did she expect,” as if she was a she {the a in muerta the tits in ash}, as if expectations are self addressed cross dressers, a body an enveloped waiting to be dripped                        mom

Who did she expect Drano to taste like? All of the beloved.