The mountains have risen beyond my youth.
I was lost in the forest of adultery, where Mama
was lonesome and Papa smelled of ale
and sawdust and sex.
Joy was sifted, like sand through a sieve
and fell away to the sides. The silt gathered
at the mouth of my Mississippi and
shored the ships that lumbered
through my dreams.
As a child I dreamed of gowns and flowers,
but the mountains have risen beyond my youth.
In the shadow, I can remember that mama was lonesome,
and Papa smelled like sex.