28. BMs

His mother called bowel movements BMs, how prescient,

her last words to him, I need to have a BM,

but as a child he called it grunny, I have to go grunny,

and he’d run holding his backside to keep it in,

as last week in the kitchen he suddenly had to go grunny

but didn’t make it to the toilet in time and soiled his yukata,

awake he can’t find a place to lie, the pillow sharp

against his head, like that slap against the back of his head

his father used to give him, the punishing slap against his skull

rearranging his language, he is sitting on a hillside

in the dark with his mother who insists there are stars,

but they are not stars, they are the watchers watching,

what’s confusing is often just the act of getting out of bed,

stumbling against the doorway on the way to the bathroom

and pausing then in the kitchen to ask who’s at the door,

it’s a good thing the zen master says to know your confusion,

he knows it, there it is like the dirty dishes in the sink,

like the trashcan full of piss-soaked Depends,

like the sudden weeping he calls chemo tears when

he sees someone who looks like Caroline eating lunch

with his son and her daughter and wonders how they got there

and when he got a son and what his name is.

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