[I can't see her clearly. Can you see your mother clearly? I was concocted]

by Diane Seuss

Diane Seuss

I can't see her clearly. Can you see your mother
clearly? I was concocted
in the kettle of her body. Swam like a swan in a pool
of her blood. From my
earliest days I called her by her name-Norma. But
inside, always mommy.
I called out to her, even when I was far from home.
In High Wycombe, peeling
peaches for dinner. Not like that, a stern woman
said, telling me to slip the knife
just under the skin and pull it away from the flesh.
Peeing outside the Hellfire
Caves on Midsummer Night. In Scotland, sleeping in
a tent on the cold ground.
So far north the sky never got dark. Arrested in
Germany for stealing a mug.
Man wearing lederhosen barking at me. Veins in his
face ready to explode. Forced
to eat that awful white sausage the color of an
underbelly. Bad strawberries. Shitting
myself on the train from Segovia. Giving birth, cut
through the gut, the layer of fat
and uterus exposed to the cold room and its
attendants. And now in my solitude
which matches her solitude like mother-daughter
dresses she'd disdain. Do you see
how I persist in telling you about the flowers when I
mean to describe the rain?

Last updated March 11, 2023