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My Mother at One

I am the baby


from every war

story. The wish

empty in Father’s

hands. Our cord torn

by razor

wire, skies of violet

plasma. I sense


in mosquitoes, the itch

beneath skin. Fall asleep

to the rake

of Topaz

wind, desert willows

bending over

the stone tablet

of earth. Nighttime

my body curled—

slashed by

the quarter

moon. Waves of heat

and waiting. My lips

on a bottle’s nib,

sand in

the face, Mother

stooped over

stairs, always

rocking me.

from SeizeFind more by Brian Komei Dempster at the library

Copyright © 2020 Brian Komei Dempster
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Brian Komei Dempster Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.