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Home / Issue 34 / My Mother's Ghost Never Speaks

My Mother's Ghost Never Speaks

By Robert Okaji

This clutch of tumors, of tissue and repression and lonely tunes,

ignores my voice. I shut my eyes to drift, sink

just below sleep's rippled surface, thinking perhaps this time


we'll connect. Was I the last to see your moon's flaws,

invisible craters pocking the surface even through the flaring

days of summer? Somehow you moved on.


You appear in automobiles I've never driven,

in the disheveled webs of bird-plucked orb spiders, and in

the row of theater seats left unfilled, always far below


or above my direct line of sight, sometimes in a young

person's guise, more often middle-aged, but younger than

your children and impossibly beautiful. It is the Fool's


month, but sleet skitters across my lines. To where

did our language flutter? I talk and talk and say nothing,

while you, in silence, convey the world, its shuttered


pride, all the lilting phrases, lost nouns, our loveliest bruises.

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