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the pyramids
by evelyna Ekoko-Kay

my aunties paint their kitchens blue
and think strange things over bowls of soup
one auntie moves out west to join a commune with her husband
and leaves two days later
buys a hundred acres in new brunswick
builds a cabin off the grid
with a bunker in the basement
leaves her brown skinned daughter every morning by the bus
to ride three hours to school
with the white girls sticking gum and pencils in her hair
learns how to grow potatoes from a sprouting piece of mush
lets sparrows steal her corn
sits on the porch until she is mostly forgotten
waits patient for a meteor to land

one auntie has a house out past sudbury
with two living rooms and two frustrated birds
she visits a cottage fifteen times a summer
grills redmeat for her white inlaws who don't do the dishes
she tells her son wait til your father gets home
but he doesn't often
she forgets her daughter at the loblaws
and comes back four years later
to discover her reading t.s eliot to the bags of flour
she doesn't like fat people
feels like her body's swallowed her whole and still keeps eating
thinks the young are asking too much with their they/them pronouns
didn't vote for ford but you have to admit the liberals aren't any better
when her son opens up the cage and one bird flies away
she doesn't try to save it
two days later she buys a new one
too big to fit the perch beside the one who stayed

one auntie leaves for germany at 17
and never comes home again
she surfaces sometimes in the united states
pediatrician in new york, new york
godhead in flagstaff arizona tries to take up plastic surgery
in california but is forced to sell her practice
she visits from the US in the trunk of her mama's car
carries her husband state to state in the corner of an extra bedroom
doesn't vaccinate her kids
eats nothing but french fries, chicken, and potato pancakes
worries that her daughter is a bully
then decides that's not a bad thing really
on his 14th birthday buys her son a gun
says maybe we all married white men so our children could be free
one night on the highway going 65 she slams the breaks on with no warning
and lets traffic break around her minivan
while her son and daughter sleep in the second row

one auntie grew up in the coat room of a high school party
letting boys pour drinks down the back of her tube top in the dark
believes in planet x
some dark menace that the scientists are hiding in the sky
she calls in sick to work
and sick again
takes six months leave to focus on her acting
and then doesn't leave her bed except to photograph her children
at thanksgiving she invites the family to supper
and then cancels
at christmas she calls everyone a bitch for not allowing her to host
then shows up with a new haircut and the best merlot
her therapist says she has bipolar
her therapist says she has bpd
her therapist says she has depression
her therapist says she has cptsd
her sisters tell her stop this whining
you got to grow up in canada
and play medea in toronto for two weeks
when you went to university you didn't have to go
part time and mend some old man's dirty pants in the shop on osler court
she throws a plate at the ceiling
says you all forgot me
says I used to stand out on the porch for hours
with the keys between my thighs
my friends didn't love me
mama never taught me how to sew

sitting together one solstice
they decide that the pyramids
were built from top to bottom
in the air as all things should be
and they don’t listen
when my father laughs and says
you think aliens did that
why? there’s nothing more human
than a pile of rocks