Poetry

158. mother, I am your child

the damned

*

Mother,
the monster emerging in the late morning
from my room, my swamp,
isn’t me.
Daughters aren’t born
with suitcases under eyes glazed like chestnuts.
Pink dew shines on their eyelashes.

Mother,
the vagrant stealing flesh with dirty fingernails
at the city’s parking lots at dawn,
isn’t me.
Sons know better
than to offer up their lives at the bottoms of the bottles,
or fall in love with second-hand smoke.

Mother,
I will never be your daughter or your son.
I will never be quietly timid or rowdily wild.
It isn’t me,
I’ve always been something in between.
If you have to give me names,
settle with calling me your child.

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