When I was young

I was my mother.

We sat together in June

and summer shoes.

We sat near open windows,

sucking, cracking, throwing sunflower

seeds all around the kitchen table,

tongues burning from all the salt,

accordion brows over everything,

two twisted, contrary positions;

her and I, our bodies talked this way,

In the daylight, she would inspect my

face and the quiet way I moved around.

I was not as she imagined,

I was not ashamed of this.

In the night, I spent

my energy resisting her fetid stares,

so sharp against my nostrils, my skin,

so persistent in the pursuit of my tears.

In the kitchen, I watched her

stand near the stove,

nearly every limb crossed- just the one

crooked right arm, holding a


Ash grew like dandelions from her fingers

and I sat still, still mesmerized.

I wanted our summers,

I wanted our language,

I wanted to be despised sometimes.

I wanted to be her salted seed,

her crooked limb,

her dandelion,

because there were days, I

know, she was glad that I was hers.

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