Mother

In my mind we sit across from each other in a crowded restaurant. The curve of your back reflects against the dark moonlight, a printed silk scarf holds the wisps of your gray hair away from your face.

You gaze tenderly at me and I slowly memorize the lines around your brown eyes, the shape of your small hands. I imagine that I see a reflection of myself; a glimpse of my truth revealed in the corner of your smile.

I hesitantly ask what you said to me when you held me for the last time. Did you kiss me before you walked away? Maybe you don’t remember until the persistent silence of your mistake never lets you forget.

In my dreams I call out to you, but when I wake you are never there.

How could I possibly think that you love me?

Words of forgiveness stay buried deep inside my mouth so instead I chase your shadow in my poems; let the grief shatter like broken glass

leaving fragments of myself behind

and wait for the answers

I know will never come.

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