Tissue

This poem first appeared in Potato Eaters, published by Finishing Line Press in 2008.

Tissue

On the nights she went out
to PTA meetings and Tupperware parties,
my mother would leave
a pressed ruby imprint of lips
on a square of toilet paper.
Pirating treasure-kisses
left on the counter,
by the time I was fourteen,
I had hundreds saved
in her crimson pump shoe-box
under my bed. Weighed down slightly
by a perfume bottle, those kisses
were left for me to find,
until I grew out of snug, cotton dresses.
Now, my best moments recreate
those toilet-tissue touches,
those sanguine emblems,
of beauty, and generosity,
those most sacred tokens
of any world.

mom and amy