My Mother as Tom Cruise

Luisa Muradyan

Or as every other late 80s action heromy mother successfully jumping off of a skyscraperonto another skyscraper my mother hunting thePredator with a cigar lodged in her mouthmy mother saying sonofabitch in the coolestway imaginable my mother ripping a mask offto reveal she is not in fact the president of the UnitedStates but that she is in fact my mothermy mother somehow knowing how to pilota helicopter my mother pulling her abusivefather out of a bath tub my mother slammingher fist down on the table during an armwrestling tournament my mother registeringher hands as lethal weapons my mother pleadingwith her mother to leave before things got dangerousmy mother watching things get dangerousmy mother holding the green wire and the bluewire and figuring out which wire to cutmy mother covered in her mother's bloodmy mother my mother my god my motherwalking away from a burningcar my mother an action herothat self-destructs and yet she's stillmy mother sitting in front of a villaincalming explaining to him that deathis almost here without sharks withoutbombs. My mother pale as the moonlightmy mother watching himdie slowly, in explosive peaceand immeasurable quiet.

Feature Date


Selected By

Share This Poem

Print This Poem

Luisa Muradyan is originally from the Ukraine and holds a Ph.D. in Poetry from the University of Houston. She is the author of American Radiance (University of Nebraska Press) the recipient of the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Muradyan is also a member of the Cheburashka Collective, a group of women and non binary writers from the former Soviet Union. Previous poems have appeared in Coffee House Press, The Missouri Review, Jewish Currents, American Literary Review, and the London Review among others.

Fall 2020

Berkeley, California

Editor and Publisher
Wendy Lesser

“Everyone should rush right out and subscribe to The Threepenny Review.”
—Tony Kushner

“There are vanishingly few magazines left in this country which seem pitched at the general literary reader and which consistently publish such interesting, high-quality criticism, reflection, argument, fiction, and poetry…Threepenny is thankfully still out there.”
—Jonathan Franzen

The Threepenny Review is one of the most original literary magazines not only in the U.S. but also on the entire planet (as far as my experience allows me such a judgment). Why? Because it stands outside the fads of the day; it’s not driven by any intellectual group or fashion. What it does is give the readers the taste of many individual writers’ voices.”
—Adam Zagajewski

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.