There Is No Question

Mother thought grief would be romantic,
Like euthanizing a dove with one solid crack.

It was like having to clutch an unclothed
Baby who urinates from both ends.

She imagined she’d shave her head
And run off to a seasonless island

In the Pacific. She just
Drove to the coast and wept

In the car because it stalled on
The overlook and she had to call her son.

On the day of the funeral, she expected
To be full of shame for acting

Like a machine. It was like the day
Her dentist replaced a filling and failed

To notice—until she pointed it out—
That she had a meticulous bite.

She smiled for him through clenched teeth.
It was the only time she ever felt right.

Mark Yakich‘s most recent poetry collection is The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin Poets, 2008). He lives in New Orleans.