He never minded the gray bladders
beneath her eyes that lay
like road-kill raccoon pups. Didn't
mind the arroyo of dark veins
and tough hair at her back, her breath
like the moss-bogged bottom
of a cistern, the bread crumbs
in her pockets, her small teeth.
Didn't mind the nickname
she gave him: gravy-leg --
after an incident on the school
soccer field that left a trail of stool
like three slugs, nosing down his thigh.
She had a green thumb -- when
she held his piece she held it like
a trowel -- a digging implement.
In summer he put his congested
furry cheeks against the cool
of her plump arms, as when a child,
he mistook the pillowy flab
of another mother for his
mother's -- because the soft of fat
is universal -- and the woman could not
have been more amused or flattered.