local_library Funeral In Michigan

by Bridget Cross

Published in Issue No. 5 ~ October, 1996

My dead grandmother ducks
out of the sight of my pink hair.
She is dull and indifferent,
a tigress feeds me and feeding,
raptured like thighs,
she runs around my head, tip to toe,
the horizon of the shoulder to the curl of pubic hair and down.
She reminds me to play and
may blood deliver the rest of you.

Even if I had known her
I still wouldn’t see her if I close my eyes.
I’m alone on this floor
drawing candle-dipped cheeks,
peeking round her barrier bone,
cut throat cheeks and soft.
I could dabble under her corpse and all around,
I could melt into her, swallow up that unaccustomed skin.

In this town
everybody’s mom has planted a tree,
and we can drive to the house
where someone made my mom make me,
who folded down the band-aids,
the koolaid and cookie cutters.
The work has obviously been dirty.
My mother smoked pot when she was forty-five,
stared inward to the mirror,
the grandfather clocks distanced and faded.
She was pear-like at ten.

After a funeral, tiny blue-faced cherubs well up and suffocate,
rubberbands tie neat knots around fingertips,
and the late afternoon angel talk,
wooden coffins under their toes,
the dead and lecherous grandparents are unsettled today,
Genevieve is in a box.
Her life might have been a bottomless skylight in a hole
bearing down,
but this is all just heresay.

Floods of blood in the cracked linoleum,
I love you too,
my mom,
my dad,
my dead grandparents
are prisms in a dark room.

And I am sunshine.

account_box More About

Bridget Cross is a student at Reed College in Oregon. In her own words: "I originally come from the heavenly land of New York City, the greatest city on earth, home of the greatest basketball team on earth, love loud music, quiet corners, dancing, driving, people, home, greasy food, diet coke, basket ball, cigarettes, five AM, markers, Ireland, windows, Adidas, oil lamps, notebooks, good smiles, long hugs, rain, sounding like a personals ad and most importantly, procrastinating!"