My Mother: A Haunting

she held me close as i caved into myself and cried. i didn’t want her to hold me. i wanted to be free.

my mother is all silk skin and broken knuckles. when i was younger, i would count the wrinkles on her fingers and the lines across her palm. i wanted to know why she had more lines than i did. i never figured it out. my mother is all soft rain and wet grass. her hair hangs to the base of her neck and her smile stretches to the left more than to the right. i think mine stretches more to the right. my mother doesn’t like things out of order. every nail polish, every empty shoe box, every ripped open envelope has its place. 

even people had a place. she taught me the importance of silence, the value behind a closed door and i had practiced so much that even she didn’t notice when i stayed locked up in the bathroom for hours on end. a tub filled to the brim with water and i; slowly sinking into it. i had my place in this house and she had hers. my mother spent years haunting me. i tried to run but her shadow was attached to me and every time i looked in the mirror i saw her reflection in my iris. 

i wish i was blind. my mother would not leave me. the first time i thought of a girl, i wanted to rip my skin open. my mother’s carcass had stitched itself to my skeleton and i could not be free. i would wake up in cold sweats screaming for god to take me. to bring me home but i was left with the echoes of my screams and the silence of this house. of her house. the ringing silence in me. 

I would spend hours sitting in my mother’s favorite part of the backyard. It was near the roses. i would picture my life untethered and free. it was a place where i would dream of love. how disgusting could i be? everyday i heard my mother’s broken knuckles and felt her silk skin and wet grass hair drip tears of soft rain onto my back. 

i wished i could not feel. her palms were filled with the regret i would cough up at dawn, the disgust i would vomit at dusk. she held me close as i caved into myself and cried. i didn’t want her to hold me. i wanted to be free. 


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