the comrade/ twin whose palm would bear a lifeline like our own:/ decisive, arrowy,/ forked lightning of insatiate desire.
Of my three aunts, Sylvia, Adrienne
and Anne, two killed themselves and one refused
to look at me. I’ve loved them. I’ve loved gin,
static-buzz, bone-fever — all that confused
their words with being something more. “Nomen
est omen:” call me, “Left Behind.” Call her:
“Matertera.” Without these three women
what am I? Check your tongue about that slur
that I’ve broken my pact made between gods
and their dire verse; as if either pleased.
Tonight I want an aunt’s voice that marauds
through my skull, that translates all that buzzed
into something. Confessions. I love them.
I love their words. Their so-called hate and sin.