The Backwards Flight of Names

Gretchen Mattox

in dream my mother has planted a yard of sorrel,
         yellow flowers folding into themselves like beach umbrellas

taste sour like sorrow and I want that yard of grass—

we know the men can’t be trusted so let them go

but what about the bitterness?—sting like soap in the eye
the time my mother washed my mouth out

for saying shit—hard bar of Dial sudsing, rabid

Gretchen Mattox lives and writes in Fairfax, California.