Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Mo(u)rning This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

One

My mother speaks with rumbling tongue
And whispering words
Her hips are mountains I walk up to each morning
Dawn’s rose fingers stretching
Across mother’s soil skin
Her eyes are seeds the flowers drop as I pass
Her wind pushing eyes to follow me
Always watching

I speak with trembling tongue
And whispering words
My hips are boulders stuck in wrong places
Your paper fingers pushing
Against rock sturdy skin
My eyes are leaves scattering before you catch them
Body too much
Trying to shrink
Always hiding

She speaks with clear tongue
And frozen words
All hands fighting
For her pure snow skin
Her eyes are never ending blue sky and breeze
Reliable
Lovable
Never needing to be always

Two

My mother’s mouth never closes
Never leaves room for another to open his
Her hair,
Is silk curtain draping to wood floor as she blooms
Mouth growing with each truth, a fairytale
Where everyone wants to save her
But she doesn’t need to be saved

So when the man at thrift store counter
Tells me I should know how to deepthroat
I yearn to look to mother and sigh
Instead

My mouth never opens
Can’t bare white teeth
They look more like flags to you
My hair,
Is rope noose tightening to twisted throat as voice booms
Spine shrinking at each eerie smile, a nightmare
Where everyone wants to save me
But I don’t need to be saved

She is in line after me
Thrift store man gives her sweet smile
And the exchange has disintegrated into ashes

Three

My mother has seen ashes
Should have birthed children into fire pit to save time
My mother wants to be ashes
She is the only allowed to say her name in vain
Once mother’s mouth is closed
No one else may open theirs
We will rebirth her
Into white sun
Rumbling oceans
Rolling mountains
Seeds of flowers so she can be carried by the wind
Always watching

I have seen ashes
Bloody black bodies tainting pure white snow
Felt my brother slip through fingers
Swam with him in ocean
I want to be ashes
Because thrift store men with paper fingers may see my body and think
“Damn,
I should have made her mine
When her spine could bend with my touch
I could lift her from boulder hips
And find us a cave that she could close
And never move again”
Instead
I want to be scattered across air
Breathed into someone
A woman like me
My daughter
My sister
Will inhale and

Four

Find that her hair is beautiful
As rope- or cotton- or silk
Tongue is necessary
As ocean, or earthquake
Hips don’t need to be a goddamn mountain
For someone to stretch their fingers around her
Carefully
Lovingly
And I will apologize
Whilst floating throughout the world
And seeing nature’s wonders
For speaking in metaphor
When I saw nature’s wonders
Each morning when I kissed my mother
On her cheek
And looked in the mirror
At my eyes
And saw people
Saw beauty

P.S.

She wanted a funeral
One last chance to have people speak of her
She knew they would always say good things and give sweet smiles
And the exchange will disintegrate like ashes




Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

jfree This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
today at 3:55 pm
The question marks were Roman Numerals for one, two, three, and four respectively
 
Site Feedback