Are you still writing about —?

Yes, I am still writing

about my mother. About my

mothers. About the ways

in which they became

who they were to me; but

long before that: to, for,

and from each other. How

not even the years can fade

the quality of their scent,

the gestures that remain

embedded in every piece

of furniture, in every green

ceramic mixing bowl that survived

the years of their marriage to make

its way into mine, with all

the hairline cracks spread across

the surface. Yes, I am still

writing about my questions, about

the thousand thousand ways a whisper

carries even in the absence of wind

from out of the depths of a cabinet

emptied of its secrets. Because

the end of a story is only

convention, because convention

dictates whose names may appear

on registers and documents

and deeds, as well as who

doesn't get to inherit.

But inherit we all do—if not

the shape of an eyebrow

then the places moles turn up,

giveaway signs on the map

of the weathering body: saying

you too have a penchant for men

of a certain age, or you too

love the texture and frill

of a garment for the way

it seduces the mind into thinking

it might forget what histories

groped and penetrated you in that

loamy dark before you came to be.

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