In my blood, I’d go to the men’s room,
the bathroom at Sears, she said.
If pigs had wings, she’d be a streetcar,
she said, and I would have been a bus.
I smile at the Midwestern women. If my aunt
had balls like them, or the pioneer women
crossing the plains, she’d be a bicycle. I would
have been a bus, and we would bottle Paris.
This counterfactual thinking. It is fruitless
to speculate about counterfactual situations.
She’d be my uncle, my aunt; she’d wash
her feet in the sink if we could bottle Paris
and make a ham and cheese sandwich
as respectable Sears matrons flutter
their hands, their support knee-highs,
her feet in the sink. But it is fruitless,
this counterfactual speculation. Fruitless,
my uncle, my aunt, even my grandmother,
though I suspect she has bottled Paris,
wagoned it all the way home.
NaPoWriMo, Day 27 prompt: Take a common expression, do a Google search for its first three words, then skim the first few pages that result, looking for interesting lines and images. I used “If my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon,” which apparently, many people know from a Star Trek movie. The second result was, of all things, a poem by Mohja Kahf, some lines of which I’ve borrowed or adapted here.