Listen to Your Mother

I am your mother
the birth-blood on your forehead
a fedora
the milk nipple
a trough gone dry
I am coyote cry that curls from your throat
spittle that chokes your forlorn moan
the wolf’s rattling howl
I am Pontius Pilate
the hammer
the nail
the washer of feet
I am Mary and Aunt Jemima
maple
syrup
the Christ cut on your side
a salt tear in your wound
I am the ivory and the ebony
keys   the fingers
of your masturbation
I am your wedding bed
I am a high heel
a mink stole
a rabid wolverine
I am a low-cut vamp
the cleavage between your toes
I am your embryonic home
a flood-ravaged slough
the slough
the flood
the valley floor
I am a crouched and rocking niño
the sliver in his bare feet
I am a hundred year old cello
the hollow of a bell
the hairs you pluck
a match head you strike with your nail
I am clavé
I am the dance
I am cobblestone
an asphalt drive
the scrape on your knee
I am the cave you spelunk
the knot in your groin
a splint
a strand of DNA
I am a cable-stayed bridge
rust   green
patina on your pewter lips
I am the wolf-whistle you tongue in your teeth
ceramic
porcelain
the vessel of your wont
I am a tuner seeking electric vibes
a rod
a diviner
a seeker of rain
I am a vibrator
a vein on the back of your wrist
the blue vein that stiffens
underbelly’s thin skin
I am frog legs
bullion
a knuckle of bone
I am basting sauce
butter, reduced onion and wine
the taste in your lover’s mouth
I am the accelerator
the wheel in your hands
the gears you rev
I am the cigarette you drag
the butt you flick away
I am the crack in your blistered lip
the salve
eucalyptus
your boyish fumbling under a sheet
I am the sheet
the wing pocket from which you fly
I am the Torah
I am your mother
I am the best kiss you ever had


Photo Credit: CarlosMDSilva Flickr via Compfight cc

About M. Anne Sweet

M. Anne Sweet is a poet and artist who has performed and exhibited throughout the Pacific Northwest. As a poet, she has performed individually, as well as with The Seattle Five Plus One, Project Z and the Daughters of Dementia. Literary credits include an anthology, The Seattle Five Plus One: Poetry; a book-length poetry collection, Nailed to the Sky; past winner of the Bart Baxter Poetry in Performance Competition; and numerous works in print and online. She maintains a working studio in the Georgetown area of Seattle. Her visual artworks include mixed media, photographic, and digital pieces, as well as a series of graphic poems (in the genre of graphic novels) that combine her visual art and poetry.

4 thoughts on “Listen to Your Mother

  1. One of many wonderful and thought provoking pieces from Anne Sweet. This one read to the beat of drums would reveal immense dimensions. I hope to hear it in performance one day.

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