song of my mothers

"Speak softly, moon faced child, so that they do not hear you when you quiver.

Let your inhibitions ride you like a dog,

dragging your soft belly through the wire and the glass of tomorrow,

as if you were a cluster of stars sailing through the plummy residue of the sky--

pulled by the silver string of clouds

and drawn with the love of a disillusioned artist.

 

Hold your tongue, my child, clench your teeth, and turn your eyes to the reality

that is found in overturned china plates, flickering street lights in a broken city,

and midnight arguments hidden in falsified laugh lines and the knit of her brows.

Keep your peace, my peach, my plum.

Fight your battles sweetly, slowly, so that they do not see you when you tremble.

So that they do not see you at all.

 

Lift your lavender lids skyward, my soul, and taste the words

rolling in your hollow mouth like rotten teeth to the beat of war drums.

Think of all the times you swallowed your pride and instead drank from

the poisoned chalice they prepared you--

brimming with promises unkept, begrudging hatred, and blistering skepticism.

Remember all the vices you stole to keep their virtues,

remember yourself amidst the maelstrom of self loathing.

 

My wonder, my dream, my light, my daughter

myself

When the world blankets you in darkness, remember who you are--

the woman who kept her chin held high this far--

and glow."

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