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The Question of My Mother

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The question of my mother is on the table.
The dark box of her mind is also there,
the garden of everywhere
we used to walk together.

Among the things the body doesn't know,
it is the dark box I return to most:
fallopian city engrained in memory,
ghost-orchid egg in the arboretum,

hinged lid forever bending back and forth —
open to me, then closed
like the petals of the paperwhite narcissus.
What would it take to make a city in me?

Dark arterial streets, neglected ovary
hard as an acorn hidden in its dark box
on the table: Mother, I am
out of my mind, spilling everywhere.

Source: Poetry (November 2007)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Question of My Mother

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