Rita Mookerjee



Did my mother tell you about the times she
found wine bottles in my laundry basket
how she laid them out with a note and how it’s been
years since I needed to sneak booze but I still cover my tracks with her.
No one should see me get in touch with empathy.

I’d be into harder stuff but the panhandle is hardly a place to score
good blow. I haven’t been scoring much. I’m double-fisting
and wishing for some extra sets of chalky blue arms.
I play songs from my childhood but they’ve changed
no longer bhajans but a sets of instructions that I read
and ignore. I’ll always drink and keep a bad temper
so once everyone accepts that then maybe we can have a
conversation in place of my mother’s didactic loop:
be nice be kind be honest which reminds me so much
of last place; my mouth floods with rage. As far as honest
goes, I can’t win because I’m ruthless shameless and shooting
to maim because the jugular only
tastes good when you’ve earned it.

A talking head lets me know
that none of this is productive but I think
of my enemies and of Kali in the bhajan
of her gold necklace strung with severed heads
and I resolve to never explain myself.


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