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Your Mother Dies

Noa Saunders

She had gotten trapped between the walls of the house, an irregular paper star

folded in a leather womb.

In my imagination fixed as a painter or cleaner there as normally

collecting wrong answers and buttons

and leaving not a trace.

Finding her like finding water damage was not-long-expected

after the new year.

The parlor caught Columbus Sunday in Spring light,

grass like heaven’s chill slowing the blood.

I remember you as a griever, non-eater, with no

open words. Your father was finally alone

but-with-what alone, standing above her in the yard. The pair 

you made was two left feet with shoes on.

Dreamchoked in the orange morning, nothing

could get me to tell you. Not the wide-smiling door

of our room, not your own terrors

wherein I, a box carcass, sound the mort nightly. 

Not while we’re alive at least when your skin spikes 

in the dark and in the light your eyes soak me up.

What an immemorable piece of myself I have here 

left with me.

You were slipping off the bed, mouth in mock-scream

like a child, I peered down the well that opened you

and the silver at the bottom peered back. Don’t go.

Noa Saunders is a PhD Candidate at Boston University, where she teaches poetry, film, and writing. Recent poems can be found in Ninth Letter.

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