If you asked about my Aunt Dorcas

I’d tell you “She died yesterday.”

I’d tell you
she buried two husbands:
one, a drunk bastard
one, a name she already wore,
so then it doubled

She was thin as a kitchen match

Bright as the end of that hot-boxed Pall Mall

Sharp as the hook she baited
squatting in tall grass
skeeters on her chin

I’d tell you she cashed out
hid her money in the funeral home safe
so she could live in hell for free

and I’d tell you
we shared some blood

and her name was biblical
but she wasn’t

(even though she was popped on the foot
by a ball of lightning
skipping fast as “My Lou”
across the church parking lot
as she folded her double-name-causing second husband
and his oxygen tank
into that smoky sedan.


She laughed at that devil
and fearful Southern Baptists
rooted firmly on asphalt

Later I’d tell you
how I squandered my last chance
to learn of her little brother –
my long-gone father