You remember it, don’t you, Mother, that afternoon in the yard?
I held a cigarette. You had one, too. Like two old women,
our dogs crept through the grass whispering. And then, as if to satisfy
their disdain, I lifted my face to the sun and sneezed.

It was as if my brain had emptied onto me, suddenly
leaking down my chin and neck like an unwarranted confession.
Disgusted, laughing, you ran inside. Young and wet, I cried.

How shitty their lives are, Dot said to Spot.
Shame, for them, is just another form of love.