O, Death. Your singular eye. My mother speaks the King’s English. Makes quiche. Makes clove
pomanders in winter. Pawned her flute. Cleaned my elementary school classroom. What is
hers? Brillant song, my mother, sotto voce, in her chair asking for touch. It is drowning she
means, not freedom. I swam fine. Don’t you get it, O Death, my mother is elegant alive, entering
the blue hole of evening, alone. You could reach into the frame, pull her out. O Death, I’ve been
crueler— I’ve watched.
Copyright © 2020 Taylor Johnson
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.