second sunday in may

you taught me
how to shoplift
to hold my tongue
or feel the sting
hospital corners
to fake a grin
mash the pain
deep down
to let it fester
poison the nearly
shattered sense
of self you left
stabbing out of
paperthin skin
you were copernicus
the world circling
around you alone
an infinite cosmos
that i ruined
i didn’t ask
to be an anchor
around your ankle
dragging you down
you felt obliged
to remind me
taught me to cook
to hide bruises
rejectreflectneglect
respect
the power of
maternal abandonments
and how that shapes
emotional failings
blood is thicker
than self hatred
but you taught me
to choke on each
in equal measure
happy mother’s day
a silent refrain
a reflection of
brunches and pain
with cigarette
flavored disdain

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