Makeup smeared, like a clown, like the Joker

Lipstick askew, eyeliner lying on her cheeks

Like she forgot how to put it on

(She’d never forget that)

I dream about Mom for the third night in a row

Everyone is humoring her, pretending she’s alive

She won’t stop talking about something from last week

As if she was there. She wasn’t. (Was she?)

“That was the worst hamburger I ever ate for breakfast,”

Mom said. Five of us leave the dusty diner

(She’d never eat a hamburger for breakfast)

I start to argue

Dad pulls my arm, shoots me that look that says,

“That’s enough.”

And then we are all walking to church. The wrong church.

I know it’s wrong because there’s standing, clapping

I yell “No!” turn, run away

To where I can kneel, where it’s quiet

Where there are no zombies

Only statues perfectly made up