Kelly Clayton – Two Poems

Oya Dresses for Saturday Night at Roque’s Blues Hall

She sits on the toilet lid, Mother of Chaos,
Queen of the Nines
looking into her GE make-up

day, office, home, evening
each setting lights her face rich amber, antelope goddess curls
her eyelashes with the wind,
Her dark hair wrapped in electric storm
in a creamy slip she is brown pearl
nail polish.

Little Bee-Eater, songless bird, watches
from the doorway, Shazam/Isis t shirt pulled
over her knees, she settles her wings,
so she don’t get shooed
from the room that smells of hot
copper, and wild woman

Made up, Oya stands at her closet, one hand on
half moon hip, a tornado
of dresses rain down on her bed.
capricious deity picks a dress of lightning,
which incidentally, is the first one
she tried on.

She turns toward quiet feathers, points ceremonial
coat hangers at the rainbow
on the bed, and says,
“Hey Bebe, wanna do Mama a little favor?”


Mom’s House,  Dad’s House

The synagogue’s side temple has a rotary
fan that squats in the doorway blowing
kisses from God’s mole hole where He lives
in His singular,

Mary reentered the workforce, weary
of His demands for total devotion.
She stands perfectly still while old ladies slide
dollars into the dented tin box
mounted near cerulean knees.

They push buttons, light electric
candles, the hum signals Mary, her mind on End-
of-the-Month-Red-Beans-&-Rice, to send up prayers
for Uncle Boo’s scheduled MRI ,
or poor Ernestine’s wild daughter.

Must Mary walk Jesus to Temple Shalom on Wednesdays
and alternate weekends?
Does she deliberately not pack clean robes because God
can damned well buy some extras
to keep at His own house?

Does God drive Jesus home hours too early
or late,
pull up to the curb at Sacred Heart and honk
his trumpet for Mary to come outside like common
Debris Blanc?

Or does it all work beautifully for them
like it never does for the rest of us?