“Grandma was a racecar driver” and “To think, she wanted to be a nun”: Poems

Grandma was a racecar driver

Did you see my mother, or her face?
These fungicidal recollections blur
Round wide velodrome curves
She became a math teacher
But her dream was to be
A racecar driver
After she disappeared
Into the dank envelope
Of that forgetful disease
I sometimes saw
A smile break forth
A squint in the eyes
And a determination
Of focus on the road
Hips cracked, hands wracked
Grabbing tight on the wheel
An isotope of her former self
Shutters blinking
Going through the checkered flag


To think, she wanted to be a nun

She talked about shit-eating and the Marquis de Sade
And how she liked to salsa and bathe in tequila
I couldn’t get a word in

She had an abnormal fetish for back-seat car leather
And kept a scrapbook with pictures of fighting dogs
I nodded and sipped my bottle

She had eyes like a carcass on the highway-side
And made kissing smooches with moist lips
I wanted to go, but stayed

Nonsense talk about a distant French boyfriend
She tapped me lightly with a riding whip
I looked out the window where the rain still fell

Raised in Andean highlands, she once wanted to be a nun
Her claws dug in and a laugh came from her nose
I wondered how I’d ever get home

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