SPRING 2013 (Issue 78)

Laressa Dickey

The Body Stills

Bundle the time we’ve been inside and burn it.
Here, the sea on walls, the sea inside our bodies.
That we were made by mothers is a myth.
They entered where the future and past were small choices
and the ceremony for bringing back the dead here in my pen.
I didn’t care at all about politics, only my soul, she said—
Delicious is the apple, but also my last look at her shoulder blades.
We had a language and sometimes, we were mean,
shoving all our bones into corsets, small shoes.
I folded my voice into a small finch, a shape for
scattering flour over the floor. Most things had fallen into the folds:
my mother’s ashes, who was speaking, who left. A place
in my palm could wither her completely.
I had put away her knitting, and the apple cores.
The dousing begins after the body stills.
Her elbows, I saw, clucked against her ribs.
Every mother of a mother, a dream inside
and the body a bowl—