We’re gonna do it easy, but then we’re gonna do the finish rough.
—Tina Turner’s intro to “Proud Mary”
Holding out a bundle of mums
from the grocery store
to offset a bad day,
She tells the alien how hard it is
to remember everything, every day to do
every thing, how proud she feels
to have shopped and gathered
so much, saved
dollars with coupons and sales.
Why bother with it all?
I can fix your trouble. I know how
to make a run for it. Metal cart flying
out automatic doors—we could get far
away—take off and live without
Days later, the petals start to wilt, giant puffs
in a droop. She decides and says
Tina Turner’s head looks like an aging mum.
My kind, your kind… we all look
like one dying flower