After a month of nearly falling off the bottom of the earth,
Ma placed me in my bed, where I woke imagining
feeling wide-eyed, refreshed, wondrous of where I was-
jumping off the bed, landing in flexible splat as impossible
as the dogs I used to try to draw were ugly.
I didn’t really know how dogs’ heads or human bodies worked,
but I wanted a Lisa Frank retriever and my butt to be in the air,
my torso flat across the floor, my arms hugging it-
an ecstatic, peaceful, closed-eyed smile across my face.
But I wasn’t that enamored or brave or dumb, I mean single-minded,
so I kind of, sort of tried it after planning for a while,
but I mostly protected my face. The tale was embellished later,
but guess what? It made my mom sad. Can you believe that? Mothers
always feel guilty. But the girl in my head was wondrous,
Mom, not homesick! Artists are never understood,
though I painted myself as one the best I could.