Love Poem

by Spencer Williams

When Mom cut her hair, the first joke: managers, then lesbians.
We laughed. When laughter died, she still looked
good. I am writing this past tense, but Mom still is
that haircut. It feels she might be the first of us to live forever.
All the time in the world to get me right!, I tell my sister, who does not
call me sister. Listen. In this house that I grew up in,
Mom séances my boy into the center of the dining room,
makes him eat her mac and cheese, quesadillas
with hot peppers, old routine. He chews and thanks her.
He makes his old bed. He gives Mom a book
recommendation: He. He. He. He. He walks to the bridge
and returns to the room where he gored his own name.
Funny. I am sitting in the kitchen as I write this now,
and make eyes at Mom draping laundry on the wires. I am considering
the feeling of a ghost, and if we have considered it at all. Mom clasps
her neck when she eyes through me, folding hairs in her palm.
Sorry but. I can’t help but wonder what ghost she sees first
when I am there. Mom’s shorn head, an ancient bust in our museum.
The boy of me, dressed cold in her dead hairs.

Spencer Williams has a BA in English and Cinematic Arts from University of Iowa, and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Rutgers-Newark. She is the author of the chapbook Alien Pink (The Atlas Review Chapbook Series, 2017) and has work featured in Powder Keg, Apogee, [PANK], and Bat City Review, among others.