I was so crazy once

I was so crazy once I mistook a man for my mother
who was so masculine he had black and silver whiskers
up past the ridges of his cheeks which were jagged
possibly from a plethora of addictions
and into the corner of his eyes
which he would use to squint at me
in a way which, to me, suggested interest
of some unearthly, maternal kind

I made a point of not knowing him
to ward off my notice of any other dissimilarities
between him and her so that he could serve as my placeholder
and decided instead to put a great deal of importance
on making myself up to his mysterious standards

and cried in such earnest once after failing him
that an old friend posed this question:
are you sure this is really about him
and not about your parents?

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