a flower was blooming inside of ma. massaging her
pregnant belly with jojoba oil, her palms caressed her
child with every rub. ma's lips dripped of whispers,
nourishing her baby's ears/never let go of ma/she
upon tumbling out of ma’s womb, the baby bathed in
fresh air. lips enveloped around ma’s breasts, she sipped
sweet milk like honey. staring at the pearls lining ma’s
neck, she gurgled at her own reflection in the beads.
on ma’s chest, she felt palpitations in rhythm with
hers, a polyphonic symphony. she clutched onto ma’s
bony fingers, because every hour, every minute, all she
wanted to see was ma.
she slowly put one foot in front of the other, each heel
earning one photo by ma. but as those heels produced
more pictures, ma’s brows furrowed. One more heel
meant one more slip. One more slip meant one more
bloody nose. One more bloody nose meant one more
tear and a moratorium to ma's heartbeat.
the child’s hair was tangled in sunlight and golden sands.
her eyes, aqua seas of mischief. tiny fingers wrapped around
broken sticks and dusty pebbles. reaching to drop one into
her mouth/no, no!/gravel fell out of her palms, a look of
disdain bleaching her chubby cheeks. ma wore fret like a
bandana around her forehead. she briskly swept the child
into tender arms. each of the child’s kicks dyed ma’s
hips indigo, painted splatters of vexation.
little pigtails whipped burnt shoulders as shrieks of laughter
harmonized with the moan of tire swing chains. laying in the
cradle of wet grass and baby dandelions with her friends,
she tried to lick the blue out of the sky/ma waited for her
child to run into her open arms, eyelashes drenched in tears
for ma was gone too long/but her child was too busy singing
with the daisies and reading to the willows.
snuggled into the embrace of her backpack, the child was
greeted by the grin of the teacher. across the room,
she stared at the boy with sapphire eyes and lemon hair.
the sides of his mouth pinched into a smile embellished
with two dimples. her cheeks blossomed into
giggles coated her lips thinking about the
boy./what are you laughing about silly girl?/ nothing ma,
she rolled her chuckles under her tongue and swallowed
them with orange juice.
/you can tell me/
screen light caked her eyes as laughter cascaded down her
ruby, painted lips, talking to mystery man. earphones
blasted indie melodies. as ma opened her door, she entered a
sphere of beauty magazines and pink hair. a look of disgust
wrapped her wrinkly face.
ma, i’m going out with friends tonight.
no, you’re not. you’re not going out by yourself.
sorry, you’re not.
let me be free for once! just let me go!
the room quavered until it fell into a deep silence. ma
glared at fake eyelashes and acrylic nails/this is not
my daughter/ma stepped away from her child’s orb,
each step feeling like she was falling out of orbit.
tears flooded ma’s eyes. each drop shattered
epidermis, each drop fractured a part of her.
just let me go. /i can’t./ each breath sent shivers
down worn skeleton. /it’s just hormones. right?/
tepid blood soon boiling. hot tears surging down
a mountainous contour and off a broken chin.
/but she’s my baby./