Mother and Me
I take a pair of hose from Mother's bureau. These are the camisoles she keeps hidden. This is the panty she never wears. I preen, her wedding combs stuck where I think my father likes them.
I say, "I will outdo you in what women do."
Mother is in the other room, snacking. She has been known to snack until dinnertime, to look up from a tin of herring and tell my father that people in China do not eat until the Empress says, "Eat!" This is also what I hear Mother say when I am listening at their bedroom door.
I come to breakfast in Mother's pumps and say, "The Empress says, 'Eat!'"
I am not only the Empress, but the Lady, the Duchess, the Queen.
How I long to see my mother see me.
She will say, "You have my panty!"
I will say, "Spank me!"
I will say, "Lay flat your hand on my little boy's body."
Derek Gullino lives in New York City with his boyfriend and two cats. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Utah. He is currently at work on a comic novel called Sunshine about children and drugs.