My Mother’s Breaking Body

February 5, 2018

I yield to the call of the kitchen, a half-eaten

dessert and the ache to feel full again.

The nights have grown pallid in the grip

of bereavement, my throat hollow and defeated.

I lean against the dirty counter, shoving

handfuls of tear stained cake into my mouth,

fingers crumbling under the weight of despair.


I stumble over images of my mother’s breaking body,

frail against the grain of hospital sheets that

carry the scars of pain, the scent of grief.

Her pleas for death have stained my thoughts.

The contours of the world are burned by the stench

of cancer, laughter plucked out of the sky by

the teeth of terminal disease.


I fight to hold onto the echo of her fingertips, gently

pushing back the escaping tendrils of my hair.

Her touch dissolves into the pulse of a night that

lives on, even though she has taken her last breath.

Time escapes through fractures in the fabric

of my identity and I find myself alone on the floor,

gorging my emptiness on devil’s food.


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