My mother was glamorous in a way I knew I never
would be. Velvet belt buckle. Mascara lash. Miniature
crimson lipstick alive in the pocket of a purse. Her
bow mouth was forever being twinned to a tissue.
I never would wear that black windowpane see-
through blouse, mother-of-pearl buttons tracing the
path down her spine. Every woman was her rival. You
could say seriousness made me impossible, exactly
the same way beauty made her. I understand men.
Some like to have one woman in their arms, while a
second one stands on a half-shell, both continuously
shifting between being and being seen. Even as a
child, I understood there were erotic fishhooks that
one couldn’t see. I learned to use a camera to see what
I could be.
The author’s work can be found in the volume, A Doll for Throwing.
Think about how the poem made you feel. Did you ever find yourself attempting to live out and carry on your parent’s identity? What did it feel like when you realized you were very different people indeed?
May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.