Cathexis Northwest Press
By: Elizabeth Sylvia
hosted a parade of wrongs
that only an audience could right.
Jerry Springer, he was the king of women
who had screwed their mother’s husbands,
patron of the bastard children.
We need a person to look at what they’ve done to us
as if they haven’t been looking at it all along.
In Shakespeare’s early histories, someone’s mother,
some former queen, is always returning
armed with a flaming shit bag of curses
for the someone (else) who has killed her child.
Mother-queens take the stage wherever.
They’re not wanted everywhere
because business was being done
before they arrived. Men were organizing
the destruction of their enemies.
With their blood and hair and upstaging,
the mothers splinter such statecraft.
These queens don’t give up just because they get killed.
Their ghosts stalk the balconies, wearing white and silence,
surprise guests in men’s guilty dreams, twisting
kings in their bedsheets.
On Springer no one wears white, just low rise jeans.
We feel a bit sad for the desperation. The stage
looks small. Maybe revenge is a bit déclassé.
Queens don’t go for it any longer. But I do, I do.
Elizabeth Sylvia (she/her) is a writer of poems and other lists who lives with her family in Massachusetts, where she teaches high school English and coaches debate. Elizabeth’s work is upcoming or has recently appeared in Salamander, Pleiades, Soundings East, J Journal, RHINO, Main Street Rag, and a bunch of other wonderful journals. She is currently working on a verse investigation of the writer Elizabeth Barstow Stoddard.