A Photograph of My Mother in Her Twenties
My mother stopped eating after my father and her separated for the first time. I try to rub her downturned eyes towards me, but my thumb just leaves fossils of grease on the film. Pain forced her to evolve in reverse, calcifying and corroding her visceral currents until now I have to chisel at her rusted skin for a true laugh or smile. We drink wine through the winter and laugh at my father while my guts guilt-twist because I am his sperm secreted. In the photo her elbows are digging into the rotting maroon wood of the table on either side of a newspaper, her lips arranged in a perennial pout, her hair a crown of dark curls adoring her head. It is summer. The trees are pregnant around her and the wind and insects are singing in her ears but her mother (my Nonna) can't hear their tremulous words. Her eyes look through the gunmetal gray cavern inhaling the idea of her daughter as my mother's soul turns slowly solvent and I'd sell my soluble soul to absorb her sin.