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An Open Call to Single Daughters of Single Mothers

Come and bring your mother’s bodies: bring her naked body and her clothed body, the
body she had in the kitchen and on the couch, her walking-out-the-door body and her
wake-up body, bring her tight jeans body, her cleaning body, bring the drive-you-to-
school body, and the day job body in beige work pants, bring her bathing suit body,
her parallel parking body, her laughing body, her popcorn shovel-mouth body—

don’t forget her brand-new-nails body and her discipline body—the do-your-
homework body, her packing body, her jealous and honest body, her vacation body,
her long-dress body when you graduated from high school and college, bring her very
own daughter body, the bare breast body in her mirror body, bring her body in the
glass shower, her sleeping body, her sick body—leave Atlanta first home fast with
your mother’s body danger the man danger the stuck, you’ll want to peel off her
bronzed skin, to hold her, for the rest of your life.

And bring the materials that go with her bodies: the white linen pants, rayon multi-
color shirts, green spandex dress, leather jacket, bring all her purses with their hangy
purse things; bring each piece of jewelry: the giant costume rings—the one shaped
like a dragonfly, and the glitter bangle bracelets; bring the bedazzled baseball hats and
the pile of strappy sandals, her body sprays, her cigarettes, the pictures of you she
keeps in her wallet, her Day-Timer, People magazines, and her cable TV box,

the swimming pool she bought and the plastic storage bin full of your grade school
stories; grab all her drinks: the Big Gulp Diet Coke, the McDonald’s coffee. Her
bodies will need a snack—a cheeseburger, a whole chocolate pie. Don’t forget her
vitamins and orange juice, the grilled fish and asparagus. Don’t leave any of her bodies
behind, pile everything into your Toyota Corolla, give her travel body a travel pillow
and get here as fast as you can.

from Sugar WorkFind more by Katie Marya at the library

Copyright © 2022 Katie Marya
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Katie Marya Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.