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  1. Mama's face

    I find no solace in safety The curling breathing breakingness of pain gives me more opportunity for introspection Than quiet rooms or soft sandy coves I adjust So quickly I forget Everything but today My face changes every hour. My Mama is different. Seeing her face reminds me of a thousand things Like the paintings of a blind man, Her skin is all furrows and bumps Coiled, hardened hair. I have painted over the canvas of her So many times I can feel yesterday’s expressions beneath the surface. My Mama does not let go. I dreamt that I was full of medicine That even in the hospital there was a half chance I would survive Half chance I would not. I asked her “talk to me” but she was silent. Grabbing my body she threw me into cars, beds tables. 50% chance that I would die before I ever caught her eye. Her too busy worried about whether I would decay Than if, should I live, I would ever be okay. That’s Mama. Perhaps, It’s fair. Sometimes my Mama touches my hair. I wonder if she feels its smoothness And wonders how I forget so quickly. But I hold nothing. Sometimes I wish I worked in a mine. My weak heart and frail limbs could bend and twist and shudder. As I so frequently bend against what is probable, With each day a half-chance to make it out alive, I would arch my spine And I would, perhaps, survive. There’s no point in holding on. There’s no reason to step back. I cut off my hair where it began to tangle I rode the bus back home where I paint the face of Mama again I wait for my hands to finally rest When there are no more faces to paint, and night falls.
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