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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

Readymade | Jennifer Battisti

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

This summer we plant no annuals, buy no drugstore

snapdragon seeds to bury in a paper cup. I start Sophomore year

with wash out pigment that stains the tub Burgundy Blush.

Mother’s cigarettes are abandoned long before the filter reached,

forgotten curling irons hiss and burn

amber hot spots into ceramic countertops.

Chewing becomes a hassle—lowball glasses fill

with lemon rinds and maple syrup,

cayenne pepper lining the rims.

When it comes to keeping up, we puncture the ground

with identical squares of sharp sod, as if to establish

a lawn quickly.

We tap the greening corners sweetly for 30 days,

and soon, the roots fool even a seasoned landscaper

into believing us as robust as the slow and seedling kind.

We over-measure the yard— everything magnified

by disorder—After midnight and buzzed

from boxed wine, my mother wakes me, cinched in her silk robe.

We heave stacks of the extra grass swatches into the bed of our truck—

the shining blades under moonlight and dirt beneath

her acrylic tips, a dream I follow to the edge of the neighborhood.

We drive into the open desert, the scent of our instant earth rising

off the back, intoxicating us both. We are fat worms,

quiet and kneading into the tunnel of the night,

working to heave our Bermuda pallets until caught by the siren.

My mother, bathed in delinquency, teeters on the tailgate

her eyes wet with Maybelline.

The officer tickets us for dumping unrooted grass,

for trespassing into a heavier, permanent earth,

He follows slowly behind us,

suspicious of my mother’s soil-smeared nightgown,

her dew-choked apology,

while I remember and remind her

which house is ours.

Jennifer Battisti is a Las Vegas native. She won "Best Local Writer" by readers of Desert Companion (2019). Her chapbook, Echo Bay, was released in 2018 (Tolsun Books). Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Manzano Mountain Review, Thin Air Magazine, Coe Review, and The Briar Cliff Review.



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