Salt as Preservative

I was thinking about yo momma jokes— 

how we entertain the ridiculous  

took a picture of her last Christmas, still printing

how we’re tickled by alternate universes

takes an hour for her to cook minute rice

she eats what she wants

doesn’t listen to her doctors.

She normalizes tacky bits of denial;

venn diagrams shame into thirds.

Ideally, I laugh at my mother-self:

we’re recipients of drop-dead 

(not gorgeous) genes

being first-in-the-family garners

irregular distance from others.

When I cry tears of laughter 

it’s really a heart-felt attempt

to draw out excessive water

create less conducive grounds 

for germs—predisposed & self-inflicted—

a method for curing meat.


Shareen K. Murayama lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has degrees in English from the University of Hawaii and Creative Writing from Oregon State University. Her art has been published or is forthcoming in No Contact Mag, Stone of Madness Press, The West Review, 433 Magazine, Ghostheart Lit., Crab Fat, Prometheus Dreaming, Inter|rupture & Phoebe. You can find her on IG & Twitter @ambusypoeming.

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