Jesus Saves, You Spend

                                                                        these days studying
Brady Bunch syndication. The television set donated from a church
group    you    vaguely    understand.    None     of    the    channels          
speaking  through. None of the house lights on  –  saves electricity
in cents. Your body contorted on the couch in a translation of poise,
even though this episode aired last week. 

Your three children are socializing spectacularly (you insist). They
walk  a mile to school,  raise  their  hands  in  class sitcom-solemn.

In  the  audience:  Your absentee man,  driving  an  hour away to do
the job you  married  him to do,  pants cuffed.   Static on the scene  
when  a  solar  flare relocates  the satellite,  or  perhaps  something     
less dramatic/more if it pleases them. The house is still, unmovable.

You lay your hands on the humming screen.

Mutation

Courtesy: Brigette Bloom

Courtesy: Brigette Bloom

Step off the tarmac and everywhere is burning. Here, your body turns to salt, buoys a shrimp boat crumpled into a double-stack cheeseburger, finds legs and reconstitutes itself as a mosquito. (Your mother said: Careful, your body is blooming.) The world moving through compound lens, multiplied thousand-fold in low-res television screens and, regardless of the possibilities, they’re all showing football. But still, you’re trying this afterlife, a strip mall stuffed with oversized T-shirts and the shucked skin of straw wrappers. 

Rubbed my abdomen on the neutral ground to mark my territory. Lucky to be here, you say, and I want to believe you. What I say mutates out of this mouth and is given a caption, top grade A++. I drink the Gatorade, but I’m not sure it’s working. 
 

Mutation (Breasts)
 

Start a new century to a diagnosis that must be inaccurate. Examine for lumps but a live-taped recording reveals clicks instead of elegance, vinyl-etched resistance. So, you insist, this is impossible. You dress in neat, too-large layers of cotton blend: pale pink sweatpants over pale pink from the 80s. Breasts that betray you—what happened to a slow song on the colonnade? Start praying to God, to new gods, to gluten-free diets or whatever they’re selling these days. Pay more to live longer, like purity before Tupperware or the Cold War. Unscrew light bulbs to save money. Replace them with a road trip to Bisbee, the afterglow radiating through your eyelashes. Prepare to leave with singular grace.