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September 2017, vol 13 no 3

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Marilyn Fleming

Mamma Tells Me

It’s not like the darkest night or the black wings of a crow. In the beginning it dawdled and crawled snail-like until I stood face to face with cords of wood, everywhere I turn more cords of wood. I feel locked in, unable to run. Meals without color are dull, one flavor running into the next.

I sleepwalk arms outstretched to feel the halting vibrations of an upcoming wall. I’m aware of how often you slink away as I speak. I’m always counting steps. And yet, my fingertips have eyes. The wonder of a baby’s breath, your indelible voice, how I run in dreams, the soughing meadow grass, that wet pine scent, the magical melody of raindrops on my tongue, butterscotch pie, the warmth of the sun, wind chimes, the sweet juice of a mango, talking clocks, the tallness of time, the sound of your frown, longing for an embrace, your electric touch.

ground ink
poured in her eyes
memorize the contours
of my face