IF YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT THEN TODAY I AM A FLOOD ON MY MOTHER’S DEATH ANNIVERSARY

TODD DILLARD

 
 

My morning began all Bustelo and bearclaw
until I remembered what day it was
 
and now I’m Coke bottle, cigarette urges,
Melissa Etheridge screaming at bluebonnets.
 
Rain, rain makes faces on the window
so my kid and I push acrylics across canvases,
 
shape elephants out of pink swirls, crickets
out of black blots, happy clouds and rainbows
 
warped like words carved on driftwood. Of course
by the fourth ask I say I am OK
 
with her going outside, watch her wriggle
into boots and jacket, watch as she
 
ignites mud fireworks with every stomp
as the bell inside my chest incessantly tolls.
 
Was the first regret seeing
what the gone will never see,
 
or the hunger you feel after
you make a meal out of absence? I get it,
 
Mom. I too have let a child splash in rising waters
just to watch them run home, shivering, to me.
 
I too have left the front door open
and invited in the sea.

 
 

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