poem poetry publication

cat eyes and the tragedy of mother

Could I marry these two sharp silences? These yellow balls
that burn in stare and purr beneath
deep where the world is simple.

Are they cat eyes or a brace of griefs fresh
from the hunter’s recreation?

Will they say, I do? Two ochre brides
with their black faces and their undercurrent of woe. Cat

eyes are everything
like newborn infants that have barely tasted the world.

How can we know without tragedy? All the broken
birds and mouse heads merely death’s decoration
like my mother’s trousseau and her years of mending only

to be lost in the stitches
and the thread falling away
her bloody thumb a jewel. She married a ductile grief

its lifeline on her palm
the law of its docile acquiescence
that lifted only to plug the hollow of my despair. The day she died

my wasted roots fell away
and I was born again like an inconsolable thunder.

From Throats Full of Graves (Lapwing Publications, 2013)

My mother would have been 75 today.


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