This isn’t a Mother’s Day gift,
a gift to celebrate the accomplishments
of my mother, a matriarchal contribution
to the world, or a blessing for myself. What I want
to imagine is a hot room, cooled
by the breeze of a small fan and an open window.
My mother, sweat-soaked,
seventeen, a child holding a child,
wrapped in a blanket, quiet and filled with air
and formula, expensive, thick, and my mother forgetting
about the fiery kiss of a man, the way his muscles felt
in her hands, the potential that lied in other people,
forgetting my grandmother, overbearing and made of steel,
always knowing best, fighting a war my mother had no part of
but, within, became the battle ground. A colored war
made vivid by the blood of experience,
two halves of a child that never unite, one half
forever gone. I want to imagine my mother
a rose bud, parting its petals, a flower whose pod
knows nothing of its color yet blooms all the same,
seeds carrying on, on the backs of worker bees, spreading out,
thinning out, mingling in the breath of day.
I want to imagine my mother forgiving
her body, a body betraying intent, my mother,
forgiving its swelling, forgiving its seduction, a calling
in a dark room, the answer that coming by night,
behind the door of a closed room, then by day
when she longed to be free.