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Gothic poem about life and death by New York poet and essayist Leah Elimeliah.

I get all tangled up in your wires, mama
my dream had me on my knees
there are witnesses, they don’t howl
at night they don’t bark
their orders are written up
on a white board against black
hollowness inside your curved body.

uniformed backs
with glaring stares
whisper behind the ears

the vigilant doctor mutters
be cautions –
unplugging the system
that’s already out of order
can cause more damage.

He manipulates the tracking devices
hoses you down with sedatives
and you – host them
in all your crusted creviced cellulite.

Mama, I am not usually angry
but this time I am different with you.
I hurt because your body is
leaving and taking you in
a vessel that’s unfamiliar and ugly.

choices are scarce,
I lay eggs in the palm of your hand
where once I obeyed you
but memory seasons change
now we both refuse to obey.

The eggs hatch missing you
in a whirlwind trying to catch
our hurricane history
that doesn’t include them
tell me, how I should lead the blind.

I look deep in the black mirror
your fingered palm, your frail
fragile fist still
holding me together. I am afraid
to miscarry your messages
to memorize – mother’s creatures
like maggots will not listen too long
and will molt and molt and molt
and then dismiss.

Inside my muddled walls
I had you fixated – on
the side that matters most
the one I lean on – unburdened from the what if’s and why’s
On to the world that once promised us the world. 

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