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

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. Jack RemickJack Remick Reply

    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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