In her widow’s purse
my mother carries
a thought heavier
than her heart

when no one’s looking
she takes it out
and examines it
with her face averted

when no one’s looking
she sews a blanket
from the thread of that thought
to tuck us all in

only its familiar weight
could make us fall asleep

only its maternal dark
could make us luminous.

— Charles Simic, Between Parentheses




I talk
to hear
you talk

You talk
to hear
me talk.

the rain
comes down
hot to
wear shoes

is what
she is

— Aram Saroyan

“I could share her when she was alive. When she was alive, her presence was endless, time with her was endless, time was endless. Our mother was very old already, and when we children stopped to think about how long we might live, we thought we would live to be just as old. Then, suddenly, there was that strange problem with her vision, which turned out to be a problem not with her vision but in her brain, and then, without warning, the bleeding and the coma, and the doctors announcing that she did not have long to live.

“Once she was gone, every memory was suddenly precious, even the bad ones, even the times I was irritated with her, or she was irritated with me. Then it seemed a luxury to be irritated.”

— Lydia Davis, “The Seals

"Oh my god I’m just like my mother. Oh my god my kids are going to be so fucking miserable. Oh my god it’s so hot but so cold and I want to scream and cry and hit oh god oh god. Oh god my life could make a poignantly sad and entertainingly dramatic telenovela and I’ve never felt so fucking pathetic. Oh god I am my own worst advocate. Oh my god when a boy says, I want to fuck you, I don’t say, Yes! I say instead, okay, and then I lie back and take it, empty and motionless like a corpse. I never know what I want because as soon as someone else says what they want, I say what they want to hear, I live as they want me to be, oh my god oh my god. Oh god I am dying so painfully slowly it’ll likely take another 80 years. Oh my god I can’t even feel god anymore. Oh my god I am my own arch nemesis- at the heart of every reason for my lifelong misery, there I am."

— Wanda Deglane, Arch Nemesis