Donna Weaver
It's the Children

        In the bathtub, a young boy was submerged amid feces
         and vomit floating on the surface.
        -John Cannon, police spokesperson, June 20, 2001, Houston, TX


My mother said I would shit myself
if she killed me. Piss and shit, piss and shit,

she chanted in the kitchen. She chased me
with knives, wiggled her tongue, said I can’t

decide whether to lick you or stab you. Afterwards
I bathed her, and when I rinsed the shampoo

out of her hair, I pretended I was drowing
her. Hair slicked back, shoulders slouched,

even the skin tags laid down, flat against her neck
from the chain she wore, a Figaro link, her empty locket.