On Mother-Daughter Relationships

What would mama say if she saw me now?
All slicked with sweat and grime,
Chased down the valley of my back
By the bubbles of soap,
And the bubbles of champagne
Slip through my hungry lips
To fall into the belly of the beast.
I’m sorry, mama,
If you saw me clinging to the bottle
Like a newborn on its mother,
Peering into the glass mouth
To see what’s left of me
I mean, what’s left of it.
Here I am, a vaudeville star,
Dancing in my own private show,
The water scalding and steaming,
Loving me harshly just like he did.
Just like you did.
I gape up at the shower head
And choke,
I’m so sorry, mama,
For letting him touch me,
For falling short.
But, mama, if you could see me now,
When the bile in my throat
Finds itself thrust out,
Splayed across the tiles,
I have found what I’m good for.
Mama, I’m so good at this.
I loved him like you taught me,
Fiercely, passionately,
With abandon, with tenderness.
And he loved me like you did,
Burning, smothering,
With hate, with fury.
I woke up in a haze,
Smoke spilling from his lips,
And, mama, nobody can tell me.
Nobody can tell me I’m wrong.

[Written January 23rd, 2015]


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