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Kaveh Akbar reads francine j. harris's poem, "Enough Food and a Mom".

Kaveh Akbar:

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My name is Kaveh Akbar and I'm reading "Enough Food and a Mom" by the poet francine j. harris from her book play dead.  I first encountered this poem in Poetry magazine, I think, but then I encountered it again here at the end of francine j. harris' book play dead.  It's one of the last couple poems in the book and it's just sort of this cymbals crashing moment where the whole, everything, oh, so many of these strands, the whole book is coming--are coming together and it's such a singular piece of work that defamiliarizes family and defamiliarizes language and defamiliarizes embodiment inside a person, you know?  And it's so strange and the language is so strange and it really feels like a sort of unprecedented utterance to accommodate a really truly unprecedented experience.

enough food and a mom

The dad. body has just enough gravy on his plate to sop up one piece of bread.
So, enough for one supper, says the mom.  She comes back to him, says
don't argue with mom, you're a ghost.  There's enough water around to drown a cob
in its husk.  in a dad.  He puts up weather stripping all night.  to keep out the mom.  He says

I should have cooked for you more.  She thinks she could make her own insulin.
to keep herself from going into dad.

She says I should have married a ghost. says: You have a little
raisin on your lip. a little.  The mom says stop all that quiet, it's foolish.  Come on
now, dad.  come to ghost. says the ghost.  

I won't even warn the mom.  I won't even flinch if the ghost if the ghost tries to hold her mom.  After all,
a good seance starts with enough food and a mom.  The ghost with a biscuit in meat.  The
mom with the smell of cracked dad. sucked out of oxygen.  The mom is
a smell of wrecked vines.

                                     You, the dad, with no teeth. And no, (the mom)
is a garden full of ghost.  No, says the dad: lost in ashes.

No city is complete. its own worst ghost. who can't even remember the ghost
now, the ghost says: All your selves know, now.  They ghost
like the bushel of a snowflower.

Everyone is dead. now. says, the ghost.  The mom is a yard of blackening petals.

At night, I have really long dads.  Without the ghosts, I wake up in a puddle of ghost.  
But you'll be mom one day. to know I am alive. We are all sappy dad, aren't
we.  Tell the ghost, it's ok.  Let the bodies lie ghost for awhile.  

I mom of you.  I mom of you a lot.