[I can’t see her clearly. Can you see your mother clearly? I was concocted]
I can't see her clearly. Can you see your mother clearly? I was concoctedin the kettle of her body. Swam like a swan in a pool of her blood. From myearliest days I called her by her name—Norma. But inside, always mommy.I called out to her, even when I was far from home. In High Wycombe, peelingpeaches for dinner. Not like that, a stern woman said, telling me to slip the knifejust under the skin and pull it away from the flesh. Peeing outside the HellfireCaves on Midsummer Night. In Scotland, sleeping in a tent on the cold ground.So far north the sky never got dark. Arrested in Germany for stealing a mug.Man wearing lederhosen barking at me. Veins in his face ready to explode. Forcedto eat that awful white sausage the color of an underbelly. Bad strawberries. Shittingmyself on the train from Segovia. Giving birth, cut through the gut, the layer of fatand uterus exposed to the cold room and its attendants. And now in my solitudewhich matches her solitude like mother-daughter dresses she'd disdain. Do you seehow I persist in telling you about the flowers when I mean to describe the rain?
Copyright © 2019 by Diane Seuss
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, (Graywolf Press, 2018) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and the Los Angeles Book Prize in Poetry. Four-Legged Girl, published in 2015 by Graywolf Press, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open won the Juniper Prize and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2010. A fifth collection, Frank: Sonnets, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2021. Seuss was raised in rural Michigan, which she continues to call home.
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