You woke up sticky-fingered
in your mother’s bed. You dreamt
you’d been collecting honeycombs,
a thousand bees around your curls; you took
what you could get.

Your mother watches The Bachelor:
who wins depends on what you own
and pounds you lose, on
just how much
your smile costs.

At university, you’d come
from pick-up trucks, from words like
fuck. You wanted that rich
sweetness. You reached
your hand in…

The words are always sticky
spots; academic language knots
the nots of you, and who you were;
the hegemonic paradox: you went
from one into another box.

You grew up thinking you were trash.
Now you can say it fancy.

How sweet it is—the way
the world confounds our dreams.
You shaved your head, you cut
your curls.

Your mother’s chopping firewood;
she leans to me and says, I miss
my little girl.