Your Mother Was Very Funny

Eric Conroe

She helped me
in Macy’s and died
before you were born
she helped anything
that seemed in need
of bursting.
I remember her
like a glass of water
cool versatile contained. 
I had a shot to explain
how close float
could feel deft
could carve us,
and she was listening
as the whole store
complained the streets
passing by weren’t pretty
enough and I blew it.
Now I’m quick 
to cherish those
quick to cherish
logics of enlisting in
comfortable expectations,
certain knowledge
of anything
that doesn’t threaten
life but neither
affirms it. So what
if your grim companion
is an excellent
interrobang? I need
to know more words
how to put sentences together
right, so I can gather
the moving evidence
that, by pointing to maps
charting belief
in the possibility
of radical change, exonerates
me from lurking
behind gifts, from never
giving them at all.
The question of when
how drunk, whose flock
what mystic
always drew
an ominous aura
around her face
and seems still
to bring news
of what it means
to be able to stand
the lack of something
old to which to appeal
during a rapid change
of direction – a deception
so unspeakable
so deeply normal
that I was simply
never suspected of it.