my words are like my mother’s
cells—a bit rebellious & out of
line. how i called a dying woman

          rebel is a word
for those who refuse to remain contained
                                                                        by form
                                                                        or body,
                    who break lines like bones, watch
          thoughts splinter                     & bury them
                                in the world’s flesh.

         a body is a form
of poetry, how certain lines
    like her eyes, the thirsty green
                            of a west Texas cactus emerge
                                            from a dying body (of work).

                                i want my words to multiply,
to overwhelm the page,                                           spread
like cancer                                     (so cantankerous),
                    to hollow out the pancreas
(of homophobia)                           until it no longer secretes
                                             its bile, leaves the carcass
(of the bigot)                                                             in its wake—
                    bones picked clean by maggots
                                                                        (& faggots).

my words are like my mother’s
cells—furious & caustic & out of
time. i’m sure they’ll be the death
of me, too
                                            (some day). until then

    i’ll gladly push two mLs of morphine
            beneath the tongue                     of the afflicted
                                                    as i did for her
            each day near               & until                the end
                        because the last thing we

need is more pain.