More and more I gain my mother's mouth. It's transmuted from a thin
grey lip I inherit from my father, like the line of horizon along the
ocean when it is lidded over with clouds, to a full blossom, the pluck
of flower, a pulpy, red fruit. A full lip, an impassioned lip, a lip
to suckle life from everything it kisses. The lip a hummingbird would
have, lustring out the nectar, the juice of every plant, until all browns
It is my mother who cries in the night, my mother who is aflamed, screaming
like she would at the moon. Screaming like she does in the day. A screaming
banshee. At night, she reclines in her wilderness. At night, she is
queen, screaming through the thick double doors of my parents' bedroom.
Screaming for more, while my father pleases her. He is her silent, her
invisible, Eros. He is her supplicant, her eunuch.
When my mother leaves, my father scavenges for remains throughout their
bedroom: her dresses, her forsaken, crumpled clothes. He doesn't fathom
that he is dry and brown and faded.
© 1990 - 2003 Katharina Woodworth