5.12 / December 2010

you look sensational; you look barely related to me

we used, i think
to share a pawnshop-
owning uncle with a pacemaker
and a brain
wet with rural
afterhours. a barnraising
tempo nudged
through the late
part of our chronic october.
disoriented, i restocked
the terrain with less
toxic squirrels
while you salvaged
the hubcaps
from the caddy
colored like
the insides
of a veterans’ association.
o boy i barely
recognize you in
that outfit.
lately, we are both
30% bodyfat bag.
i worry that we are
unintentionally sharing
a toothbrush; i worry
that there is this ongoing
war on things
that don’t belong
on us and that you might quite
possibly be in for
an early turnout.

her semi-successful recipe for swampthings

she made them

with leg-lag
and scratch patch.

some resistance
is circumstantial.

the mormon
wanted photographs.

they were smelling
of damp

roseheaded foster
child. she suspected

they would take
to quarreling

with weathervanes
or eating out

of the lawnmower
magnate’s koi pond.

her kitchen smoldered
like it was in

the midst of
an alltime crackdown

i have a complicated relationship with all the other women in your life

we were bad influencing
on your sister’s gerbils

when there wasn’t enough to do
in the upper peninsula anyway.

even if you’re traveling
incognito, it is still daylight

savings time and i am still moving
your mother to tears (j/k). please pin

this au pair’s lingerie to the inside
of your trench. in the event

of an emergency landing
into another INS office, we will keep

facestraight despite ourselves.
also, the make your own

militia kit still hasn’t arrived
and i’m starting to suspect

that your grandmother forgot
to put those extra stamps on it.

Daniela Olszewska is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Citizen J (Artifice Books, forthcoming) and cloudfang : : cakedirt (Horse Less Press, forthcoming). She sits on Switchback Books' Board of Directors and serves as Associate Poetry Editor of H_NGM_N. Daniela is pursuing her MFA at the University of Alabama, where she teaches creative writing in conjunction with The Alabama Prison Arts & Education Project.