Mother with a Split Tongue

by Sara Moore Wagner

Sara Moore Wagner

You call me crazy when I least expect it,
when I am holding myself neat in my glass body.

You call me a breath against a windowpane, face
in the bushes, yellow-eyed and jagged, ground down

as the fox liver I bake into the bread I feed the children,
ground down to the paste I put on your eyelids

the night you made me your wife. I am a pack of wolves
advancing, overtaking what you can only imagine

is the girl you knew back in college, the one who
never showed you how a face can flicker like a jellyfish

in the waves. Please, then, put me back where you found me
into the water, into the clay pot. Let me drown or else ferment,

to lose my mind as you think I’ve already done—
In the night there is a knocking in me. It sounds

like fingers. Leaves me with the word sever, sever
sever—or let it go.

Last updated September 19, 2022