Mother's Favorite This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Throw your withered spoons
and rings with their bloody crusts
to the soles of your shoes.
Wrap up their leather coffin
with a tough, taught
tongue, chewed short
by secrets.

HE will not acknowledge them.

I cut my tongue, wagging,
from lips bloodied
by Pomegranate; juices
drip down my throat,
burning my breath sore.
Toss it in its cage, a preening canary
warbling dry its heart.

Or perhaps a box, cardboard and moldy
and tied tight with my heartstrings
dripping, fresh from Aztec hands.
Yes, a box
with a pretty Scarlet bow
and gaily fluffed golden tinsel.
I’ll bury it in the garden

of headstones near the white
flaking Chapel. I’ll drown
it beneath six feet of browning grass
and water it with bated
songs. Notes worm their way
from cold smiles marbled
by night-crawlers.

The chapless choir
cannot compare to the howling
of my severed tongue,
ashen and rusted, buried
near your spoons
and rings
and shoes.

Alms for a wretched lover.





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